Updated: Saturday, 10 May 2014 02:16 | By Agence France-Presse

Nadal backs calls for Latin American Masters

World number one Rafael Nadal believes at least one of the nine ATP Masters events should be staged Latin America.


Nadal backs calls for Latin American Masters

Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory over Thomas Berdych during their men's singles quarterfinal tennis match of the Madrid Masters at the Magic Box sports complex in Madrid on May 9, 2014 - by Javier Soriano

Nadal is currently competing in Madrid in one of three European-based Masters in just over a month also taking in Monte Carlo and Rome in the build-up to the French Open.

And, speaking after beating Tomas Berdych to reach the semi-finals in the Spanish capital with 6-4, 6-2 win on Friday, he said there should be a fairer spread of the bigger tournaments around the globe.

"I would really support a Masters event in Latin America. Tennis is a global sport and it's important that it's shared all over the globe," he said.

"Also, it is a reality that the tournaments have to be played where the crowd really lives and feels the sport. My personal feeling is that each time I go to Latin America, the response of the audience over there is unbeatable.

"I can't remember any matches that I've played in Latin America that the court was not full, so that's great news for our sport.

"I think the ATP should take advantage of that situation to empower the sport in Latin America, but, as always, we know the changes and the innovations in our schedule are complex."

Of the current nine Masters events, there are four in Europe, four in North America and the Shanghai Masters in October.

Nadal has become a regular visitor Latin America in recent years, winning the Rio de Janeiro Open in February this year, as well competing in Vina del Mar, Sao Paulo and Acapulco on his return from a long-term knee injury last year.

However, the 13-time Grand Slam champion said pressure had to be put on those with decision-making powers rather than him to make the change.

"I left the players' council because of something a while ago. I have not been involved in politics for a while and I am not going to go back now.

"When I was in there I saw few solutions and that's when I left.

"It shouldn't worry you to ask my opinion or my solution because I'm not there. You should ask the people that have the power to change these things, but it would be great to have a Masters 1000 in Latin America."

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