The Madrid Open tennis tournament has been cancelled due to fresh outbreaks of coronavirus in the region, organisers confirmed on Tuesday, raising doubts around the upcoming U.S. and French Opens.
Organisers said they had created a "bubble" to minimise the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus but over the weekend they were advised by local health authorities not to stage the tournament next month.
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"As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstances that the pandemic continues to generate, it has been decided that 2020 Mutua Madrid Open will not take place this year", organisers said in a statement.
Spain, one of the worst-affected countries when the pandemic first hit Europe earlier this year, has recorded almost 315,000 confirmed cases and over 28,400 deaths so far, according to a Reuters tally.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic is the defending champion at the event which was originally scheduled to be played in May. "We share in the disappointment that the Mutua Madrid Open will not be able to take place this year", said Andrea Gaudenzi, the ATP Chairman, in a statement. The pandemic had been under control until the recent spikes in cases across the country.
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The second edition of the revamped Davis Cup, set to be played again in Madrid this year, had already been cancelled as promoters didn't want the event to go on without fans.
The women's WTA Tour resumed this week with the Palermo Open, with one unidentified player pulling out on the eve of the tournament after testing positive for coronavirus, while the men's ATP Tour will start for the first time since March on August 22.
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