Murray and Bertens, also virtual champions

Antonio Arenas Mutua News

Two familiar faces from the Caja Mágica’s winning circle, Andy Murray and Kiki Bertens have won the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro. Both the Scot, in the men’s competition, and the Dutch player, in the women’s, celebrated victory in an online version of the tournament that allowed them to demonstrate their impressive skills with a PlayStation 4 controller.

Murray added a third Mutua Madrid Open crown to his cabinet. While he previously won the event in 2008 (indoor hardcourt) and in 2015 (clay), this time him claimed the first virtual title. He did so after winning a tight final against David Goffin which was decided in a tiebreak (7-6[5]). It was the highest-quality clash on of the tournament on the clay of a Manolo Santana Stadium that was recreated in exquisite detail in the videogame Tennis World Tour (Nacon Gaming).

The Scot fulfilled his promise as favourite for the title over the four days of competition. After storming through the group stage, winning three matches against Rafa Nadal, Denis Shapovalov and Benoit Paire, in the quarters he saw off 2018 champion Alexander Zverev and in the semis he clashed with Diego Schwartzman.

In the final round, Goffin, the surprise package of the ATP draw, awaited. The Belgian, whose best record at the Mutua Madrid Open was previously reaching the quarter-finals (2017), snuck his way into the final leaving some quality opponents in his wake such as Paire in the quarters and Stefanos Tsitsipas, another of the biggest contenders for the crown, in the semis.

In the women’s competition, Bertens enjoyed a similar experience to Murray. The Dutch player seems to have found the Midas touch on the Madrid clay. In 2018 she was on the verge of victory in her first final, then in 2019 she was back to make the title her own. In this virtual edition she was dominant on her way to successfully defending her crown, beating Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro 6-1 in the final.

In the semi-finals, also on Thursday, the current No. 7 of the WTA Rankings defeated hot favourite Caroline Wozniacki 7-5. In the quarter-finals she sent Belinda Bencic packing, while the in the round robin she barely broke a sweat to string together three wins over Angelique Kerber, Eugenie Bouchard and Donna Vekic.

Ferro was unable to put the icing on her impressive performance at a tournament where she proved herself to be something of a specialist. In the semi-finals she knocked out the charismatic Sorana Cirstea (6-3), while in the quarters Vekic was her victim. In the group stage she cruised past Carla Suárez, Karolina Pliskova and Bencic.

The champions of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Open won 150,000 in each draw (ATP and WTA), a sum that they may decide to share with tennis players currently suffering from economic problems. In addition, a total of 50,000 euros went towards reducing the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finally, Stefanos Tsitsipas won the Charity Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, which brought together eight specialist gamers and eight ATP and WTA professionals. The Greek won the final against Borja Iglesias, the Real Betis striker, 6-3.