The Madrid Open, while technically cancelled, will still go on—virtually.
The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, is an innovative tournament in which the best tennis players in the world will square off from their homes. It will run for four days (27th-30th April), in a bid to attract fans and raise money for tennis players affected financially because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is the first virtual tennis event to be played by professional tennis players.
Greece's tennis superstar Stefanos Tsitsipas joins Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem Alexander Zverev, Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Kei Nishikori, Fabio Fognini, Diego Schwartzman, Karen Khachanov, John Isner, Lucas Pouille, David Ferrer, Frances Tiafoe and Denis Shapovalov, in the line up.
“Happy to prove my parents wrong back in the day when they used to tell me playing video games would bring me nowhere in my life,” Tsitsipas announced. "It’s great being part of the first virtual online tennis tournament with actual professional tennis players.”
Tsitsipas, a finalist at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open (unfortunately loosing to Djokovic), currently occupies the No. 6 spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Greek player, who captured his second straight Open 13 Provence title in Marseille this year, has become one of the biggest stars on the ATP Tour at just 21 years of age.
At the end of last season, Tsitsipas won the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 in London to claim the biggest title of his career.
The format for the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will be as follows: 16 singles players in each of the two draws (ATP and WTA) initially divided into four groups. Every player will participate in three matches during the group stages of the competition. The winner and runner-up from each group will make it to the quarterfinals, which will be followed by the semifinals and the title-deciding final.
The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will be streamed on Facebook Gaming.
*Image of Stefanos Tsitsipas by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)