Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro – the First Online Tennis Tour
The Madrid-based ATP & WTA Tour invites world-famous players to compete online during the COVID-19 outbreak.
There’s no denying that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a widespread effect on every part of our society. All sorts of businesses are forced to adapt, and we’ve seen how the music industry is coping; world-class festivals and live performances put online.
Sports is another sector that took a heavy hit. For tennis, in particular, two Grand Slams have already been postponed and canceled. (The French Open will return in September, while Wimbledon 2020 has been canceled altogether.)
Other smaller tournaments have also been canceled up until July, and there might be even more still if the situation doesn’t improve soon.
One such tournament is the Mutua Madrid Open – a clay-court tournament with men’s ATP Masters 1000 and women’s WTA Premiere Mandatory. Originally, the event was to be held on May 1-10. However, it has been canceled due to Spain being one of the countries with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases.
That’s why the tournament organizers have decided to change how they’re hosting this competition. To bring sports spirit to tennis fans even when in quarantine, the team opts for online innovations. For the first time ever in tennis history, players will compete on an online platform in the Mutua World Open Virtual Pro.
For this tournament, the organizers are working with Nacon Gaming España, publisher of Tennis World Tour. Players who join the online event will be competing from their homes on the PlayStation 4 game.
As far as rules go, both the men’s and women’s tournaments will have 16 players each, divided into four pools. The winner and first runner up of each pool will face off in the quarterfinals. After that, losers will be eliminated until the last two remaining players reach the finals.
Although this is a virtual tournament, it comes with a very real prize of 150,000 EUR.
However, instead of bagging the prize home themselves, the champions will get to decide which tennis players affected by the crisis will receive the monetary aid.
The organizers will also donate an additional 50,000 EUR to charity organizations providing relief in the COVID-19 crisis.
What’s more, there will also be an exclusive match between the game developers and top tennis players to raise funds and provide support to victims of this pandemic.
At the time of writing, 32 tennis players competing in the ATP and WTA have joined this historical tournament.
On the men’s side, you’ll be seeing Spanish prodigy Rafael Nadal, as well as Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini, Diego Schwartzman, Karen Khachanov, John Isner, Lucas Pouille, David Ferrer, and Frances Tiafoe.
As for female players, there’s the previous winner Kiki Bertens, as well as Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic, Victoria Azarenka, Eugenie Bouchard, Elina Svitolina, Madison Keys, Kristina Mladenovic, Carla Suárez Navarro, Johanna Konta, Donna Vekic, Fiona Ferro, Sorana Cirstea and Caroline Wozniacki.
Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro is happening this April 27-30 at 15.00 on Madrid's time. (That's 20.00 (GMT +7) for us!) Fans can watch the matches live on via social channels of Mutua Madrid Open. Each match will be narrated by professional commentators for an immersive experience.
There will also be analyses and highlights after each match to let you relive all those exciting moments.
Be sure to stay tuned for more info on the match schedules and tournament brackets.
For the latest updates, information, and to see the matches, visit the links down below.