Football magnate bids for Portugal’s tennis Open

Football magnate bids for Portugal’s tennis Open

News that Portugal’s top tennis tournament will not take place in 2015 has been turned on its head by sports newspaper A Bola, which reports the tournament will be taken over by a group led by hugely successful Portuguese football agent Jorge Mendes.
According to the newspaper, Jorge Mendes’ agent service Gestifute, Dutch entrepreneur and former tennis player Benno van Veggel and German TV agency U.COM are working together to present a successful bid for the organisational rights of the 25-year-old Portugal Open.
A Bola adds that the bid should be presented to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) very soon.
Although Mendes is known for his successful career in football, he is no stranger to tennis. Besides providing agent services to football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Angél Di María, the 48-year-old entrepreneur also works with Portuguese tennis players João Sousa, Frederico Silva and Maria João Koehler.
The news comes only a week after former Portugal Open organiser João Lagos said he no longer had the necessary conditions to organise the tournament.
Concerns that it would have to be cancelled altogether led Portugal’s top tennis player João Sousa to say he felt “crushed”.
The country’s tennis fraternity now awaits official confirmation that the flagship tournament that has brought stars like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokvic to Oeiras’ clay courts has not, in fact, bitten the dust.