The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Croatian Donna Vekic, the Canadian Denis Shapovalov and the Danish Caroline Wozniacki are the last four participants in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, the online tournament that will be held from April 27 to 30.
These last four confirmed join Rafa 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, Karolina Pliskova , Elina Svitolina, Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic, Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, Kristina Mladenovic, Carla Suárez, Victoria Azarenka, Johanna Konta, Fiona Ferro, Eugenie Bouchard and Sorana Cirstea to form the final list of 32 tournament participants, which will hold the draw for the painting this Friday at 4:00 p.m.
“I am happy to show my parents that they were wrong when they used to tell me that playing video games would get me nowhere in my life. It is great to be part of the first virtual online tennis tournament with professional tennis players,” said Tsitsipas, finalist at the last year at the Caja Mágica, in statements provided by the organizers.
For his part, Vekic, world number 24, believes that this online tournament “is a great idea.” “Joining tennis through the only possible platform in these difficult times is an incredible initiative, especially considering the solidarity aspect of the tournament. I am far from being a professional in the world of video games, but I will do my best and I am eager to test my skills against the best tennis players on the WTA circuit, “she said.
Canadian Shapovalov, a finalist with his country in November in the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, celebrated an “original idea”, while Wozniacki, retired since the last Australian Open, is “eager to demonstrate” his skills “with the PS4 controller”.
This virtual tournament will have a donation of 150,000 euros in both tables (ATP and WTA), from which the winners will be able to decide the amount that they give to the tennis players with the most economic problems at the moment and, additionally, a total of 50,000 euros that will go entirely to reduce the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will have 16 individual participants (ATP and WTA), which will initially be divided into four groups. From this phase of the league, those classified for the quarterfinals will come out, which will be held during four days of competition.
In addition, in parallel to the official competition, a charity tournament will take place that will confront some of the main content creators of the ‘gaming’ territory with professional tennis players to raise funds to help those affected by the coronavirus.
All fans will be able to follow the development of the tournament through the internet, on television and on the social networks of the Mutua Madrid Open with a spectacular production that will feature narration and comments from all the matches, as well as analysis programs, summaries and interviews with the winners after each match.
In this sense, the organizers confirmed the sponsorship of Orange, a brand that was key to developing the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual in past editions. “Orange reaffirms its commitment to eSports, as well as its interest in tennis. Its commitment to the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro supposes support for the growth in Spain of electronic sports, whose development is being unstoppable,” they stressed from Mutua Madrid. Open.
On the other hand, the Madrid City Council, through the Culture, Tourism and Sports Area, will join this competition to claim the city “as the capital of sport and, specifically, tennis”.
“The objective is to maintain sportsmanship, even if temporarily in a virtual way, through a tournament as deeply rooted in the city as the Mutua Madrid Open. With this initiative, the expectation is maintained that the great figures of tennis will compete in the next Mutua Madrid Open 2020 scheduled for the month of September, “said the City Council.