On Sunday, a moment of silence was observed at III Open de Tenis Comunidad Valencia out of respect for the death of Pope John Paul II.
-- > GUSTAVO KUERTEN and RAFAEL NADAL gave their support to the U.N.'s International Year of Sport and Physical Education on Tuesday, both signing a UNICEF manifest to support the right of every child to be able to play in peace. The two stars joined forces to support this year-long push to highlight the power of sport to bridge cultural and ethnic divides and improve the quality of people's lives. ROGER FEDERER joined U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York in November to announce the Year of Sport.
-- > As the tournament kicked off on Saturday, FERNANDO VERDASCO and FELIX MANTILLA were among players who attended the main draw ceremony in Valencia. It was an event that drew particular attention following the pairing of Spaniards JUAN CARLOS FERRERO and RAFAEL NADAL's names in the first round.
-- > Monday saw an entertaining exhibition take place on the Pista Central with several professional soccer stars taking to the court to join the likes of JUAN CARLOS FERRERO, ALEX CORRETJA and OSCAR HERNANDEZ. Uruguayan star Diego Forlan of Villarreal, showed particular skill with the racket as he went down in a closely-fought tie-break against Ferrero. Other players to take part were Stefano Fiore (Valencia CF), ex-player Miroslav Djukic, Juan Luis Mora (Levante UD) and Dejan Tomasevic (Parmesan).
-- > On Tuesday, South American stars GUSTAVO KUERTEN and FERNANDO GONZALEZ took to the streets of Valencia to take part in a 'street' exhibition. The two players hit with each other and then played a game of 'foot-tennis' in front of the watching press and spectators. Kuerten also did an exclusive interview with news agency DPA.
-- > JUAN CARLOS FERRERO signed autographs at the Head and Penn booths on Tuesday before holding a kids clinic.
-- > RAFAEL NADAL paid a visit to tournament sponsor Inversis and also gave exclusive interviews to TVE and Canal 9.
-- > On Wednesday, DAVID FERRER and FEDERICO LUZZI took part in a Caroche fashion parade and ALBERT COSTA played in a comical exhibition, playing with semi-strung rackets and sauce pans at night time
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