This 7 April 2020 virtual game video is called Rafael Nadal vs. Lucas Pouille Tennis World Tour Online.
Now that there is hardly any sport in the open air because of the coronavirus crisis, there are online matches in several sports.
I heard before of horse racing. And of cycling (where, contrary to open-air cycling, you cannot fall because of a slippery road. But where Australian Michael Matthews had to stop during the Tour of Flanders because of a home trainer problem), And triathlon (where the Australian women’s champion Mirinda Carfrae lost because her husband stepped on the electric wire of her home trainer when she cycled). And darts.
This 26 April 2020 video is called Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld – Charity Darts from Home in support of NHS Heroes.
And now, there is tennis.
From atptour.com, 9 April 2020:
Three days after officially announcing the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, the tournament’s organisers have confirmed the participation of the first two players in the ATP draw: Andy Murray and Lucas Pouille.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented the 2020 Mutua Madrid Open from taking place from 1 to 10 May and forced the ATP and WTA to postpone all activity on their tours until 13 July, tournament organisers have announced the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, an innovative tournament that will be a virtual replica of the tennis competition, with the world’s biggest tennis stars competing from their own homes. The news means that the biggest ATP and WTA stars will clash in the Manolo Santana Stadium, recreated in exquisite detail in the Tennis World Tour video game, while swapping their racquets for a game controller.
Former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has won 46 tour-level titles in his career, including two trophies from the Mutua Madrid Open (2008, 2015). Lucas Pouille, a 5-time ATP Tour titlist, will also compete in the pioneering online competition. The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will take place from 27 to 30 April in a show of solidarity to raise money and help the tennis players most in need during this time, all those that have no income to help them through these months of inactivity and those affected by COVID-19.
“This is going to be a very exciting challenge,” said Pouille. “I’ve already started training because I want to win this tournament against my tennis peers as I know they play a lot. Thank you to the Mutua Madrid Open for this great initiative.”
Both tournaments (ATP and WTA) will include a purse of €150,000, from which the winners will be able to decide on how much they donate to the tennis players currently suffering economically, and an additional €50,000 that will all go towards reducing the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The format for the ATP and WTA Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro competitions will be as follows: 16 singles players will be divided into four groups. The champion of each group will progress to the quarter-finals, which will also include the runner-up of each group. From there, the tournaments will be played as knock-out events. In addition, in parallel with the official competition, there will be a series of benefit matches that will see some of the biggest content creators in the gaming world take on the professional tennis players to raise funds to help those affected by COVID-19.
All fans will be able to follow the tournament online, on television and on the Mutua Madrid Open’s social media, with a spectacular production that will include commentary on all the matches, analysis and highlights programmes and interviews with the winners after each match.
The organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open will soon reveal the remaining participants, as well as other news of the competition.
Today, Dutch NOS radio reports that Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber and John Isner will participate; from their homes, like the others. So will Carla Suarez Navarro. Last year’s Madrid Open women’s champion, Kiki Bertens, will play at home on a PlayStation as well.
Ms Bertens says that she will have to practice, as she is new to Tennis World Tour Online software.
There are virtual F1 races, basketball and baseball matches as well. Virtual football match: here.
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