2020 Mutua Madrid Open to be axed, first big clay event to take a blow

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2020 Mutua Madrid Open to be axed, first big clay event to take a blow

The 2020 Mutua Madrid Open is all but cancelled, according to reports. Spanish news portals have reported that the tournament organisers will be officially announcing its cancellation on Tuesday, 4th August. In the meanwhile, according to Marca, Novak Djokovic has already communicated the event’s no-show this year to his colleagues in the top-100 in their WhatsApp group.

2020 Mutua Madrid Open to be cancelled

The tournament was rescheduled to be held from 12th to 20 September and was part of the re-modified clay season that was to start that month, following the American swing in August-September.

However, an increase in Covid-19 cases in Madrid has put paid to these plans. On 1st August, the Mutua Madrid Open released a media statement in which it acknowledged that the Community of Madrid (Comunidad de Madrid) had conveyed the risks of having the event given the second wave of Coronavirus infections in the city.

“…At all times, the organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open have valued the support of the competent health organisations in the Community of Madrid and have heeded the opinion of experts, while always reserving the right to make the final decision on the staging of the Mutua Madrid Open,” the press note said.

Adding that the tournament organisers valued the advice of the government, the media statement also noted that the organisers were monitoring the situation. Finally, it mentioned that the final decision about the event going ahead or getting cancelled would be taken by its owner, Romanian businessman Ion Tiriac.

During his interaction with media personnel on the side-lines of Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS), the Mutua Madrid Open tournament director Feliciano Lopez had said that the organisers would be taking the decision “two-three days”.

He also reiterated that Tiriac would be making the last call vis-à-vis the 2020 edition of the event. Previously, before the situation worsened, players who were keen to play in Madrid had doubts about travelling to play in New York since the European Union had made 14-day quarantine mandatory for everyone entering the region from the US.

However, with the USTA making provisions for exemptions for any such potential quarantine, players seemed to be amenable to travelling to the US and then playing in Europe, even starting in the Spanish capital. The present circumstances surrounding the Mutua Madrid Open have, however, cast a shadow on tennis’ resumption this year. This, even as tennis has officially restarted at the Ladies Palermo Open, in Italy.