The Mutua Madrid Open’s loss could be Kitzbuhel’s Generali Open’s gain if the ATP has its say. Spanish media outlet Marca has reported that the ATP is considering pushing the Austrian event by a week following the former tournament’s cancellation to readjust the dates of the 2020 clay season that is scheduled to pick off from Kitzbuhel.
As per the initial schedule – also featuring the Madrid Masters – Kitzbuhel is to be played from 8th-13th September. The event in the Spanish capital was to be held from 13th-20th September. However, for Kitzbuhel, these dates clash with the US Open’s second week leaving those players wanting to play both in New York and in Austria conflicted about the available options and their choices.
Could the Generali Open benefit from Mutua Madrid Open's cancellation?
However, if the tournament were to be rescheduled for the week that was originally to feature the Spanish event, it would open up choices for the players.
This is particularly relevant for Dominic Thiem, the home favourite. In 2019, Thiem became the first Austrian since Thomas Muster in 2003 to win the singles title at the event. This year, in July, the world no. 3 played an exhibition event in Kitzbuhel, eventually losing the final to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.
Meanwhile, the Mutua Madrid Open’s cancellation has once again darkened the cloud of promise surrounding tennis’ resumption in 2020. The tournament formally called-off showing this year on Tuesday, reiterating previous reports.
In a statement, the Mutua Madrid Open noted, “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”.
Madrid’s tournament director Feliciano Lopez, who had received official intimation regarding the Community of Madrid’s advice about not playing this year said, “… 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”.
At such a juncture, if the Generali Open does take the Mutua Madrid Open’s place in the calendar it will offer some respite in an already-beleaguered season.