The Mutua Madrid Open officially announced the cancellation of its 2020 edition. The increasing number of Covid-19 flare-ups Spain has been suffering lately has forced organizers and local authorities to pull the plug on the joint event.
“We have given our all to stage the tournament,” said tournament director Feliciano López in an official statement. “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.”
Thus, the tennis calendar is devoid of yet another prominent tournament, a Masters 1000 on the men’s side and a Premier Mandatory on the women’s end. While it’s still unclear what the ATP & WTA are going to do about their respective schedules the week after the US Open, both chairmans, Andrea Gaudenzi and Steve Simon, expressed their disappointment but their understanding upon Madrid’s cancellation.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for tennis fans in Spain, one of the most affected nations by the coronavirus early on. However, since the lockdown ended, a bunch of tournaments had been safely organized throughout the country. There were no signs of a potential cancellation until this past weekend.
Sure, the Mutua Madrid Open is a whole different animal compared with smaller events such as Liga Mapfre, IBP Tennis Series, Copa del Rey, or some regional championships. The MMO entails a myriad of logistical and sanitary challenges. Yet, it’s curious how contact sports like soccer or basketball managed to finish their professional leagues whereas Madrid cannot host its premier tennis tournament.
Now that Madrid has been called off, Rafael Nadal, who revealed he would be skipping the U.S. swing, is expected to return to action in Rome.
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