ATP Tour

Mass security at Nadal event

Rafael Nadal (AFP)
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Acapulco - A brutal gang rape and other crime have prompted a massive security operation for Acapulco's tennis tournament, with 4 000 personnel to be deployed at an event headlined by Rafael Nadal.

The Pacific port has become Mexico's deadliest city and local police have struggled to stem a brutal turf war between drug gangs where the intimidation of rivals includes the dumping of headless bodies in the street.

The unprecedented show of security at the tennis event is three times the size of Acapulco's own police force and will feature army, navy, federal, state and municipal police, a senior Guerrero state government official said.

Members of the deployment will begin to arrive on Wednesday, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity regarding next week's tournament.

Tourists had been relatively shielded from the city's violence until a group of gunmen stormed a beach bungalow on February 3 and raped six Spanish women after tying up seven Spanish men and a local woman.

The scaled up force will secure access to the Mextenis stadium, which has a capacity of 7 500, and the Hotel Fairmont Acapulco Princess, with a security perimeter being installed and cars will also be checked.

Former world number one Nadal, who won the Brazil Open on Sunday after a seven-month hiatus due to a knee injury, will be the top ranked player at Acapulco's red clay tournament which begins February 25 and ends March 2.

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