Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 29 May 2020

Andy Murray and Kiki Bertens are crowned virtual champions in Madrid Open

Scot and Belgian lift the titles after defeating Goffin and Ferro, respectively

Andy Murray said he will be donating half of his prize money to the UK's National Health Service and the other to the tennis player's relief fund. AP
Andy Murray said he will be donating half of his prize money to the UK's National Health Service and the other to the tennis player's relief fund. AP

Andy Murray took the honours in a tight men's final against David Goffin at the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro on Friday, while Kiki Bertens thrashed Fiona Ferro to capture the women's championship.

Murray defeated Goffin 7-6 on the Tennis World Tour video game. Bertens cruised past Ferro 6-1, giving her the online Madrid crown a year after she won the actual clay-court event.

The charity initiative will donate €50,000 (Dh201,150) to the Madrid Food Bank to help reduce the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Murray will be giving half of his prize money to the UK's National Health Service and the other half to the tennis player's relief fund.

The Scot said he was thankful for his "big serves" after securing victory over Goffin of Belgium.

"I think he's a little better than me at the game," Murray said. "He knows how to use the drop shot, the inside-out forehand, stuff like that, and I wasn't able to do that. So he has a few more options.

"My serve was probably the biggest difference. I came up with some big serves."

Goffin said: "He comes up with different shots, very unexpected shots at some times. He's probably the only one who plays that way."

Following her win over France's Ferro, Dutch player Bertens said: "Once I got the message asking if I wanted to compete in this tournament, I said, 'Of course,' and I needed to get practicing on a PlayStation as soon as possible because once I'm doing something, I want to do it right.

"I'm feeling great. My first virtual tournament and getting the win is always nice! I hope everyone had fun watching this ... and I think it's unbelievable that so many players did compete.

"It's great that we could do something for the fans. We could give something back.

Kiki Bertens defeated Fiona Ferro in the women's final. EPA
Kiki Bertens defeated Fiona Ferro in the women's final. EPA

"It's a really difficult time for everyone in the world. We cannot play tennis, our fans can't watch us play tennis, but I hope they did in the past few days."

In the men's semi-finals earlier Friday, Murray beat Argentina's Diego Schwartzman by default due to connection issues.

The Argentinian unfathomably kept being awarded points, a situation which led Murray to say: "This is madness."

Schwartzman won a tiebreak – despite the last point being a winner from Murray – but the South American graciously stepped aside.

A tournament statement said: "Due to technical problems with @dieschwartzman's connection that prevented him from competing normally in his semi-final match, the players have agreed that @andy_murray should progress to the #MMOPEN Virtual Pro final."

Goffin edged Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 in the other semi-final.

Bertens defeated Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 in the women's last four, while Ferro beat Sorana Cirstea, of Romania, 6-3.

Updated: May 1, 2020 09:50 AM

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