Three days after officially announcing the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, the tournament’s organisers have confirmed the participation of the first two players in the ATP draw: Andy Murray and Lucas Pouille.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented the 2020 Mutua Madrid Open from taking place from 1 to 10 May and forced the ATP and WTA to postpone all activity on their tours until 13 July, tournament organisers have announced the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, an innovative tournament that will be a virtual replica of the tennis competition, with the world’s biggest tennis stars competing from their own homes. The news means that the biggest ATP and WTA stars will clash in the Manolo Santana Stadium, recreated in exquisite detail in the Tennis World Tour video game, while swapping their racquets for a game controller.
Former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has won 46 tour-level titles in his career, including two trophies from the Mutua Madrid Open (2008, 2015). Lucas Pouille, a 5-time ATP Tour titlist, will also compete in the pioneering online competition. The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will take place from 27 to 30 April in a show of solidarity to raise money and help the tennis players most in need during this time, all those that have no income to help them through these months of inactivity and those affected by COVID-19.
“This is going to be a very exciting challenge,” said Pouille. “I’ve already started training because I want to win this tournament against my tennis peers as I know they play a lot. Thank you to the Mutua Madrid Open for this great initiative.”
Both tournaments (ATP and WTA) will include a purse of €150,000, from which the winners will be able to decide on how much they donate to the tennis players currently suffering economically, and an additional €50,000 that will all go towards reducing the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The format for the ATP and WTA Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro competitions will be as follows: 16 singles players will be divided into four groups. The champion of each group will progress to the quarter-finals, which will also include the runner-up of each group. From there, the tournaments will be played as knock-out events. In addition, in parallel with the official competition, there will be a series of benefit matches that will see some of the biggest content creators in the gaming world take on the professional tennis players to raise funds to help those affected by COVID-19.
All fans will be able to follow the tournament online, on television and on the Mutua Madrid Open’s social media, with a spectacular production that will include commentary on all the matches, analysis and highlights programmes and interviews with the winners after each match.
The organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open will soon reveal the remaining participants, as well as other news of the competition.