Miami Living Magazine

Amanda Biderman

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NON-PROFIT Ace!: The new Miami Tennis Cup is the Magic City’s latest sporting tradition Last December, Miami was treated to one heck of an exciting tennis match when retired star Andy Roddick set foot on Stadium Court, at Crandon Park Center in Key Biscayne, to play what was billed as his “Farewell to South Florida” against Spaniard Nicolás Almagro. The two had met only twice before, in the tour circuit, with Roddick – who announced his retirement at last summer’s U.S. Open – emerging victorious. This time, Almagro took the exhibition, 6-4, 7-5, but this, everyone knew, was the Roddick show. “I enjoyed myself and it’s nice to come back in a competitive atmosphere,” said the Grand Slam singles champ, once everything was said and done. “I’m glad they had me here. I think the crowds have enjoyed the tennis they’ve seen.” The tournament – which also featured Andy Murray, a U.S. Open champion and an Olympic gold winner; Colombian Alejandro Falla; and the top-ranked (and very tall) American John Isner – was produced by Argentina’s Group NOS. The leader of brand-immersive sports and entertainment experiences chose to start a new sporting tradition in the Magic City because.... Well, why don’t we let Julian Wortelboer, President and CEO of Group NOS, say. We caught up with him after the inaugural Miami Tennis Cup to congratulate him on a successful debut and to find out what’s in store for 2013. Miami Living: How did Group NOS come to select Miami as the place to hold this exhibition tournament? Julian Wortelboer: Miami in the wintertime is the ideal place to have an exhibition tennis tournament. The weather is wonderful; the fans are amazing. ML: What was the rationale in featuring so few players? Also, obviously, Andy Roddick was the main attraction, but what went into selecting your roster of participants? JW: Our philosophy was not only to have six players but to have six great players battling each other in a three-day event. Miami is a melting pot of people from all over the world, and having players from Europe, the U.S. and South America was the right fit for the Miami crowd. ML: Were you pleased with audience turn-out in your debut? What will you change in 2013 to build on 2012? JW: Obviously, the first year is the most difficult one for any new event, so the most valuable thing the first year out is to set the standard of who we are and what we do and make it grow year after year. Just to clarify, we are a boutique invitational tennis event. We can create, customize, and personalize anything for the sponsors and tennis fans. We are not regulated by the ATP, USTA, or WTA, so we can bring a different twist to tennis, where we let the fans be close to the action, feel the passion and energy of the best tennis players in the world, and have an amazing, fun time. We are the absolute creators of sports events around the world. ML: A complaint some folks had was the tournament featured male players exclusively. That’s half the sexy! Will female players be invited to participate in 2013? How about doubles matches? JW: The future is wide open, but yes, we have considered having a mix invitational tennis event with both females and males playing. Sadly doubles is not that exciting to the audience, and I don’t believe is the right way to go at this point. ML: Last but not least, when will the second edition of the Miami Tennis Cup take place? JW: The second edition of the Miami Tennis Cup is already in the works and Miami will very likely be the place to have it again. The time to have it will be around the same time as last year, from mid-November to mid-December. That’s the only gap during the year to have an event of this magnitude for the simple reason that professional players play all year long and have about four weeks off late in the fall.

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