With the coronavirus causing world-wide devastation, the governing body of men’s tennis ATP has extended its suspension period until June 7, 2020. By doing so, the European clay-court swing has been called off. And Mutua Madrid Open 2020 release their statement on the global pandemic.
Statement from Mutua Madrid Open 2020
“We are very disappointed about the cancellation of the tournament, but the health of the fans, players, and employees are the most important thing at this time,” said Feliciano López, the director of the Mutua Madrid Open.
“We have worked very hard in recent months, together with our sponsors to prepare the best event possible, as we do every year, but our priority is the safety of all those that were going to come to the Caja Mágica in May”.
Feliciano López thougths about Mutua Madrid Open cancellation. pic.twitter.com/sScFYnDPBN
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) March 18, 2020
The number of coronavirus cases in Spain is atrocious. And as of March 18, 2020, more than 11,000 cases have been recorded. Since the inception of the tournament in 2002, it has been canceled for the very first time.
“The situation is, without a doubt, the saddest we have experienced during the 19 years of the tournament,” Manolo Santana, the Mutua Madrid Open’s honorary president said.
“These are difficult times and all we can do is ask everyone to be responsible and strong so that we can hope the situation returns to normal as soon as possible.”
Tickets purchased by the tennis fans will be refunded on request. Or they will receive the same tickets for the next edition of the tournament without extra charges. The rescheduling of the tournament is yet to be announced.
From 2002 to 2008, the tournament was held on indoor hard courts. And 2009 onwards it is played on clay. The Spaniard ace, Rafael Nadal has won in Madrid five times, including the indoors-title in 2005.
In 2012, the tournament was played on blue clay, to create an analog to hardcourt surface. Roger Federer was victorious in that blue-clay edition. Later the tournament returned to the traditional red-dirt as some players were not comfortable playing on the colored clay.