Due to the the ATP and WTA Tours suspension forced by the coronavirus pandemic, the Mutua Madrid Open is prevented from being held on the scheduled dates. However, the directing team of the Spanish tournament chose to organize a virtual competition instead: the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro.
The event will be held from April 27 to 30 with a double purpose: to entertain fans but most of all to help professional players for whom these are difficult times financially. In fact, the prize money of the MMOVP will be distributed to players who qualify to receive help.
As the unusual tournament promised before it started revealing its participants, top players have taken on the challenge - and the draws can boast the présence of stars such as Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber, and Kiki Bertens.
Among them, French Lucas Pouille will fight for the trophy with a special idea in mind. During an interview with France Inter, Pouille answered several questions about the initiative, and one of his replies took into account a possible duel with Rafael Nadal.
"To be honest, I would prefer beating him on clay in Madrid, Monte-Carlo, or Roland-Garros in the real world,” Pouille said. “But beating him on Playstation is a good start. I’m going to train every day to start the competition off right.
I hardly ever play but since the isolation started, I spend a lot of time playing video games." Pouille and Nadal's head-to-head score is set to 1-1. The French won their 2016 encounter at the US Open in 5 sets while the most recent win belongs to the Spaniard and was obtained in three sets at the 2017 China Open.