VALENCIA, December 1, 2022
The Copa Faulcombridge concluded on Sunday after eight days of thrilling action at the Club Tenis Valencia. The ATP Challenger Tour clay-court event was named after the founder of the club Alfred Faulconbridge. The first edition of the tournament was held in 1933.
For the second time since 2002, when local hero David Ferrer won the championship, Valencia has become part of the ATP Challenger Tour. This year it was Olksii Krutykh from the Ukraine, who claimed the singles as well as the doubles title (alongside Oriol Roca Batalla). Marina Bassols Ribera from Spain was crowned champion of the sixth edition of the Open Ciudad de Valencia ITF World Tennis Tour W80 tournament, which took place the same week.
Former World No. 32 Pablo Andujar, who was born in Cuenca but resides in Valencia, has served as the tournament director for the first time. We spoke with the four-time ATP Tour titlist after the final match on Sunday.
Tennis TourTalk: Pablo, Eight days of top tennis lie behind you in Valencia. What is your conclusion?
Pablo Andujar: It was a great event, although it is logistically very difficult to manage two tournaments. We have a good tennis, which provides the facility to hold a combined event. We were lucky that the weather was good. It didn’t rain. We are very happy.
Can you please tell us a bit about your relationship with this club here?
I have been playing here since I was 12 years old. THis is my home town. This club is my home. When we were talking about organizing a Challenger event I thought about Faulcombridge. There is a story behind it. When I was little I came to the club and watched the matches at the tournament. That’s why we also insisted on naming the tournament “Copa Faulcombridge”.
Some Spanish guys of your tennis generation have already served as a tournament director like Juan Carlos Ferrero, Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer. Did you talk to them before the start of the event and did you maybe even get some tips?
I spoke with David. He is the tournament director of the Davis Cup Finals and the Barcelona Open. He told me that the role of a tournament director sometimes is not easy. Not all of the players are happy with the decisions you take sometimes but that’s your role. I tried to give my best and tried to keep everyone happy. With my experience as a player, I tried to give them the possible experience in terms of the sports part.
Foto de familia con los voluntarios, como siempre pieza clave en el desarrollo de la Copa Faulcombridge Ciudad de Valencia@FDMValencia @VoluntariatFDM @AndujarPablo @anasalaslozano #Copafbvalencia #copafaulcombridge #openciudad pic.twitter.com/GxPknHXatz
— Copa Faulcombridge Ciudad de Valencia (@copafbvalencia) November 26, 2022
What about your own career?
I will finish my career next year. I am very excited about my new role as an ATP board member player representative. Next season I will probably play eight to 10 tournaments. I think that’s more than enough. I am turning 37 in one month. I did a “second career” after my surgeries, which I am very proud of. I have four kids and a lovely family. They want me not to travel that much.
Do you have few more words about your new role at the ATP, please?
It’s about that more players will have the chance to earn more money for a living. I am going to work hard to achieve this. I think all of the Top 300 players in the world are amazing. Unfortunately, we have a couple of players, who do not earn enough with their profession. I believe that the tennis industry will be able to support them. That’s my first goal.
Will we see another edition of the Copa Faulcombridge next year?
For sure. One-hundred per cent.
And with you as a tournament director?
Yes, and with me as the tournament director.
Thank you and all the best.
Interview: Florian Heer