Andy Murray and Kiki Bertens have been crowned the inaugural champions of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro after winning…
Andy Murray and Kiki Bertens have been crowned the inaugural champions of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro after winning their respective finals on Thursday.
After winning the Mutua Madrid Open title on hardcourt in 2008 and clay in 2015, Murray successfully transitioned to an online triumph this week, completing a dominant tournament as he edged David Goffin 7-6(5) in a 33-minute final.
“We raised a lot of money for some good causes,” said Murray. “It was nice, personally, to spend a little bit of time chatting to some of the players. [It is] something that I have missed during this period and something that I have been used to for the past 12, 14 years of my life… It was something I have never done before. Thanks to everyone who put the event on.”
Murray took to social media after the final to announce that his €150,000 prize money will be split equally between the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) and the Tennis Player Relief Fund, which will give financial assistance to lower-ranked players struggling to make ends meet.
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Going to get ‘virtually’ legless celebrating my win online @mutuamadridopen Hope anyone who watched got some sort of enjoyment out of it in these tough times. I’ll be donating half of the 45 thousand dollars prize money to the NHS and the other half to the tennis player relief fund. #tennis #castore #nhs #stayhome
A further €50,000 will be donated towards those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Murray also made a promise to tournament director Feliciano Lopez, declaring he would be fluent in Spanish by the time next year rolled around.
“I am going to practise [my Spanish]. There is no excuse for me during this period where I have got a lot of time at home and not much else happening in my life to not try and learn a little bit more Spanish, so that I am confident enough to speak publicly in the language,” said Murray.
“Next year, when I come to the tournament and I get presented with the trophy, I will do my speech in Spanish. That’s the commitment I am going to make.”
Meanwhile, Bertens emerged triumphant in Madrid for the second year running, adding the Virtual tournament to the Premier Mandatory crown she secured in the Spanish capital last year.
Bertens also remained undefeated for the entire tournament, sweeping Angelique Kerber, Donna Vekic and Eugenie Bouchard by 3-0 scorelines in the group phase before taking care of Belinda Bencic, Caroline Wozniacki and Fiona Ferro in the final, prevailing 6-1 against the Frenchwoman to lift the title.
“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,” Bertens said.
“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,” Bertens continued.
“It’s great that we could do something for the fans. We could give something back.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.”