Green carpet treatment awaits Muguruza in Mallorca
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - When Spain's newly-crowned French open champion Garbine Muguruza arrives in Mallorca this week it will not be a red carpet they lay down but a lush green one.
In a dream scenario for promoters of the ambitious new WTA event being staged just a few kilometers from the party resort of Magaluf, the world number two is the headline act of a tournament being dubbed Wimbledon by the Mediterranean.
When the Venezuelan-born 22-year-old signed up for the June 13-19 event on the holiday isle, few imagined she would arrive with her first grand slam title in the bag after a dream run in rainy Paris culminated with victory over Serena Williams.
Certainly not tournament director Peer Zebergs or owner Edwin Weindorfer, who hopes to make Mallorca, home of claycourt king Rafael Nadal, an important fixture on an expanding grasscourt season over the next five years.
"That would have been top of my wish list," Zebergs told Reuters by telephone.
"Last year she was a Wimbledon finalist and now she has performed like this at Roland Garros. Garbine is the talk of Spain and timing is fantastic for us."
Weindorfer, who also owns the Stuttgart ATP grasscourt event taking place this week, hopes Muguruza's rise to fame will spark a surge of interest in the Mallorca Open.
"We are lucky that we have a new Spanish star born and she's playing in our tournament. Absolutely couldn't have asked for more," he said. "We are very excited about it." Continued...