Is this a sign of a series of changes to come in the tennis calendar or a small compensation? The Mutua Madrid Open, an event that combines men’s and women’s clay court tournaments (a Masters 1000 for the ATP and Premier Mandatory for the WTA), announced on Wednesday that it had secured more place in the calendar in 2021: it This will take place between April 27 and May 9, which is almost two weeks of competition between qualifying and the finals. However, this change does not seem to be accompanied, if we are to believe the press release, with an enlargement of the tables and an additional round to play as is the case in Indian Wells or Miami.
Hostilities will be launched on Tuesday April 27 with the start of the qualifications for the women’s tournament, the first round of which will be launched on Thursday 29. While for the men, it will be necessary to wait until Friday 30 for the qualifications to be launched and the The first matches of the 1st round of the Masters 1000 will only take place on Sunday 2 May. This extension therefore primarily concerns the women’s event. Will the number of participants be increased? The press release is not clear on this. But the very fact that a statement by Steve Simon, boss of the WTA, was incorporated into it (this is not the case of the president of the ATP) tends to show that the stake of this novelty indeed concerns tennis. feminine.
One way to compensate for the loss of profit from the cancellation in 2020?
The combined event in Madrid has therefore obtained three additional days compared to its previous editions. A way perhaps also to compensate for part of the shortfall of the past year, since he had been forced to cancel in 2020 because of the coronavirus. “We are happy to have achieved this goal of becoming a two week tournament. We believe that this extension is deserved and necessary and that it will allow us to stage the best of world tennis at the Caja Magica for a few more days.“, congratulated Feliciano Lopez, director of the event and player still active on the circuit.
While we still do not know the dates of the next Australian Open, this announcement shows in any case that negotiations are going well behind the scenes of tennis. Some tournaments, rich, could paradoxically come out winners from this crisis, while others, smaller and less financially solid, see their future threatened. Madrid is clearly in the first category.