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Madrid Tennis Open
del 18 al 20 de junio de 2010
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Interview with Omar Hossain, founder of Madrid Tennis Open

What happens with the MTO is the precise opposite of what happens with children. If with children it's always clear who's the mother, and knowing the father (absent a DNA test) depends on good faith and general good will, with the Madrid Tournament, the paternity leaves no doubt: Omar Hossain. Right until the 2009 edition, he was the director of the Tournament and one of the people thanks to whom our tournament has become a consolidated one.

- Omar, let us go back in time. What is the origin of Madrid Tennis Open? What was your role in its birth?
My original idea was to create a club similar to other clubs around the world, with its own equipment and uniform, and be able to participate in tournaments. The idea of the first tournament was Miguel Anxo’s, who insisted that I should play because he thought I would win, as it finally was the case…hahaha. Moved by the excitement, I helped him to organise the tournament the following year and up until this one.

- When you started, did it ever cross your mind that this tournament and this club would one day become this important?
That was actually our goal. My philosophy in life has always been that if someone is capable of doing something, I can too. I was dying of envy when I travelled to tournaments abroad.

- What was the most difficult part in those first moments? And the most exciting part of it?
In reality it wasn't difficult, perhaps because of all the energy and hope we put into it. The most exciting thing was to combine your biggest hobby and the company of your friends so as to create something that we really enjoyed doing.

- How many friends do you owe to tennis?
Fortunately, a lot. The best ones I have today.

-Up until last year you were the most visible head of the organisation, together with Juanda Iniesta. How come the day arrived that you decided to leave it behind?
To be honest with you, two years ago I had a quarrel with Juanda and Gonzi, simply as a result of the stress I was going through. That, together with being tired after so many years, resulted in our decision that we could no longer add anything new to try and improve both the tournament and the club.

You and Gonzalo Baños are pioneers in mixed doubles in Madrid. Why do you like playing mixed doubles so much? What is it you find in them?
That just means we're getting old, hahaha… Tournaments are exhausting, and I certainly enjoy playing tennis, but I find myself worn out after playing singles, and if I play two consecutive matches, I can't take it. Doubles are easier to bear, and playing doubles allows you to play more matches.  And on top of that, the odds of getting a trophy are higher! ;)

- In past years you would travel much more than at present to the GLTA tournaments. Why have you slowed down your pace? Will you return to being one of the familiar faces in international competitions?
I love the GLTA, but playing many tournaments implies being full of energy and being able to afford it, and it is not the case.

- We all know that your idol is Michael Jackson. Other than his undoubtable artistic merits,  what values did he have that make you admire him so deeply?
Day after day he would work to become a better person and for us to improve as well. As an artist, he was the best, but as a person he was a deity.

Short questions

Tell us the craziest thing you have done in your life (and which you can talk of…) I have done a few. Escaping in the middle of various birthday parties to see a concert by Michael Jackson.
The best moment of the day for you is… Dusk…
Your dream job Directing a tennis tournament and being paid for it!
A recurring nightmare. Being attacked by a dog.
A feature of your personality. I find it very hard to say no…
Define yourself: religious, atheist or agnostic. / Jacksonian
A cause that is worth fighting for Making other people happy
How long ave you been a vegetarian? Since January 1, 1992. It was my New Year resolution for that year, and it has proved to be the easiest one to achieve.
Do you mean that for the sake of eating only greens, you have foregone the pleasures of meat? The pleasure is in tasting things, not in swallowing them…


Mariate Escalada

Hasta 2009, Omar Hossain
fue director del torneo de
tenis gay de Madrid



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