Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 3 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Madrid Open organisers told not to hold tournament due to rise in coronavirus cases

Local health authorities worried about recent surge in Spain

The Madrid Open is an important event before the French Open. AFP
The Madrid Open is an important event before the French Open. AFP

Madrid Open organisers have been advised by local health authorities not to stage the tournament due to the rise in coronavirus cases in the Spanish capital.

The Madrid Open, which was rescheduled to take place from September 12-20 and features both men's and women's events, is an important tournament for the players to prepare for the French Open which is scheduled to begin on September 27.

"The organisers of the Madrid Open have been in close communication with the competent health organisations in the Community of Madrid and with the National Sports Council," the organisers said in a statement.

"In the last meeting, on July 29, due to the increase in cases... in Madrid in recent days, the organisers stated their concerns about being able to stage the tournament free from health complications that might affect players, fans and staff.

"In view of this situation, the organisers requested the help of Antonio Zapatero, Deputy Secretary of Public Health, and were advised not to stage the tournament due to the current trend of Covid-19 cases."

The organisers added that they were keen to make a decision in good time as it was "impossible to guarantee a positive change in this situation in the coming weeks."

There have been over 2,000 positive cases a day in the country over the past week. In total, Spain has recorded more than 288,000 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and 28,445 deaths, according to the latest figures.

"In light of the advice... the organisers... are analysing and closely evaluating all the possible options, while always focusing on guaranteeing the safety of all those involved," they added.

"The final decision... will fall to Ion Tiriac and Super Slam Ltd., the tournament's licence holder."

The professional tennis season is scheduled to restart after a five-month shutdown due to the pandemic with the WTA's Palermo Ladies Open in the Sicilian capital on Monday.

Updated: August 1, 2020 03:26 PM

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