Four new players have been added to the list of those who will be playing at the Madrid Open Virtual Pro and they are four big names from the tennis world. Japan’s Kei Nishikori, Austria’s Dominic Thiem, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and Czech Karolina Pliskova have all signed up for the competition.
The Madrid Open Virtual Pro organisers have been revealing four players at a time over the last few days and this seems to be the most solid combined set of players revealed so far. Obviously more known for their exploits on the court rather than their gaming prowess, these four are some of the biggest names in the world of tennis.
The format of the competition has 16 players in each draw, the men’s and women’s, divided into four groups of four apiece. Every player will feature in at least three games, following which the winner and runner-up from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.
The Madrid Open Virtual Pro, which will see the players give up on their racquets for PS4 consoles, will begin on April 27 and go on till April 30.
Some of the top tennis players who will be participating in the competition include Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Madison Keys and Angelique Kerber. Also a part are Fabio Fognini, Alexander Zverev, Kiki Bertens and Johanna Konta, apart from the aforementioned four who were added today.
The tournament has been termed as the eSports of tennis and will see the winners walk away with €150,000 apiece. They will then have the option of contributing a part of that prize money to a fund to help the lower-ranked tennis players who have been most affected because of the cancellation of tennis tournaments because of the coronavirus.
Pliskova admitted she hasn’t played in any such virtual tennis competitions before this and was looking forward to it. She added:
“I love the charity component of the event and will do my best to stay in the game of Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro as long as possible.”
The Czech asked her fans tips on how to play the game on PS4.
US Open winner Andreescu also welcomed the move to play a tournament of this nature. She said the Madrid Virtual Pro achieved a dual purpose of bringing fans and tennis stars together and helping those players affected by the cancellations.