Who wants to play virtual tennis ?. The Madrid Open, one of the more than 30 professional competitions canceled or postponed due to the new coronavirus, will be held virtually between April 27 and 30. Instead of rackets, players will use consoles.
The clay court tournament announced its new plan on Monday.
“Without the need to leave home, we have organized a competition between professional players as faithful as possible to the conventional Mutua Madrid Open,” said Feliciano López, the tournament director. “And also with a goal that goes beyond entertaining: we seek to do our bit in these difficult times for everyone.”
150,000 euros (almost $ 160,000) will be awarded in prizes for the men’s and women’s tournaments. The winners of the so-called ‘Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro’ will be able to decide how much they will donate to their colleagues who are in a precarious economic situation by not being able to play tournaments.
Another 50,000 euros (almost $ 55,000) will be used to mitigate the social impact of the pandemic.
The list of players who will “compete” will be released later.
In principle, the Madrid Open was to be played between May 1 and 10. But the entire European clay tour was canceled by the ATP and the WTA. Both tours are suspended until at least July 13. Wimbledon was canceled altogether for 2020, while the French Open was postponed from May to September.
ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi said the virtual tournament in Madrid will offer players and fans a “new and exciting” way to connect with tennis.
“This is a victory for everyone,” Gaudenzi said. “We are especially happy that the benefits obtained from this initiative contribute to the support of the rest of the players who have a critical situation in these difficult times.”
Her WTA counterpart Steve Simon noted that the tournament can “help close the gap until tennis returns, while also providing opportunities to help the players most in need during this difficult time.”
The tournament can be followed by internet, television and the social networks of the Madrid Open, including narration and comments of all the matches. AP