Tennis

Madrid Open cancelled as coronavirus cases surge in Spain

The organisers of the Madrid Open have announced they have had to cancel their tournament for the second time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, which has been a precursor to the French Open in recent years, was postponed in May due to the worldwide pandemic.

With Roland Garros officials moving their tournament to September, the Madrid Open pushed for the event to also take place later in the year.

But a rise in cases of COVID-19 in Madrid led to officials conceding they had doubts over whether the tournament could take place without health complications impacting players, public and staff.

It was recommended to them that the tournament should not happen and the final decision was left with owner Ion Tiriac.

And in a statement on Tuesday, Madrid confirmed they will not be staging the tournament.

The statement said: “As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by covid-19, and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstances that the pandemic continues to generate, together with the competent authorities, it has been decided that 2020 Mutua Madrid Open will not take place this year having previously been moved to 12-20 September.

“Initially scheduled to take place from 1 to 10 May, during the traditional European spring clay swing, the organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open worked with ATP and WTA in search of a new date on the restructured calendar, which they found during the third week of September.

“During this time, the Mutua Madrid Open created various protocols to guarantee the safety of all those involved in the tournament, receiving approval from the national health organisations for the measures established to prevent and minimise the risks of contagion in the tournament bubble (Caja Mágica and hotels), a fundamental pillar for staging a tournament during these times.

“Following the strong recommendation of the local health authorities, and having monitored the situation for months, the organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open have no choice but to cancel the tournament due to the complex situation that covid-19 continues to generate in every regard.

“In addition, and after a spike in covid-19 cases, the Community of Madrid announced few days ago a number of new measures to control the virus’s spread, including a directive that social gatherings are to be reduced to 10 people, both in public and private meetings, further reducing the feasibility of operating the tournament.

“The next edition of the Mutua Madrid Open will take place from 30 April to 9 May 2021 in the Caja Mágica. Any fans that decided to keep their tickets after the postponement in May are guaranteed tickets for the same session and seats in 2021.”

Feliciano Lopez, the director of the Mutua Madrid Open said: “We have given our all to stage the tournament. “After the first cancelation in May, we got to work on the September date with the hope of being able to enjoy first-class tennis in the Caja Mágica during this year which has been so hard for everyone. However, the continued instability is still too great to hold a tournament like this in complete safety. Once again, we would like to thank the Madrid City Council and all of our sponsors and suppliers for being by our side during every step we have taken”.

The next edition of the Mutua Madrid Open will take place from 30 April to 9 May 2021 in the Caja Mágica. Any fans that decided to keep their tickets after the postponement in May are guaranteed tickets for the same session and seats in 2021.

The cancellation of Madrid will come as a blow to the ATP and WTA.

Another event could take the place of Madrid but as it stands the tournament after the US Open will be the Italian Open in Rome.

Rafael Nadal is yet to publicly say whether he will play at the US Open but has made clear his intention to play in Madrid.

With Madrid off the table, it raises the possibility of him changing course and deciding to play in New York but he may still commit himself to focus his efforts on Rome and Paris.

Meanwhile, the Western & Southern Open organisers have confirmed they have given Andy Murray one of four wildcards into the event.

The British star has made clear he will travel to the US for the Cincinnati Open and US Open which will be played back-to-back at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.

Tommy Paul, Tennys Sandgren and Frances Tiafoe have also received wildcards.

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