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Andy Murray signs up for virtual Madrid Open

Andy Murray signs up for virtual Madrid Open
© Reuters
The event will replace the postponed tournament.

Andy Murray will swap a tennis racket for a games controller when he takes part in a virtual Madrid Open later this month.

The Scot and Lucas Pouille were announced as the first two ATP players in the draw on Thursday night, as the tennis world raises money during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Madrid Open was scheduled to be held from May 1-10 but has been postponed as both the ATP and WTA Tours have shut down their calendars until at least the middle of July because of the global crisis.

However, the clay-court tournament has decided to create an e-sports replica of its event titled the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro which will take place from April 27-30, with Murray and Pouille taking part.

Pouille told the official ATP website: "This is going to be a very exciting challenge.

"I've already started training because I want to win this tournament against my tennis peers as I know they play a lot.

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Sending out a challenge to all tennis players and fans... The 💯 volley challenge. There was no fighting or bickering during the filming of this video🙄 I think the last volley was aimed at my head though...enjoy I can't be the only one who wants to see rog and mirka hitting a few balls together...🎾 #100volleychallenge #stayhome #tennisathome #homecourt #AMC @rogerfederer @k1ngkyrg1os @rafaelnadal @djokernole @stanwawrinka85 @delpotrojuan @serenawilliams @venuswilliams @carowozniacki @alexzverev123 @felilopezoficial @g.e.m.s.life @jamie__murray @bryanbros @atptour @wta @tennistv @johannakonta @ashbarty @heatherwatson92 @kyle.edmund @naomiosaka @sofia.kenin @biancaandreescu_ @simonahalep @karolinapliskova @sloanestephens @grigordimitrov @julrojer @cocogauff @tay_taytownsend @barborastrycova @andreapetkovici @brooklyndecker @felixaliassime @castore_sportswear @lta @itf__tennis

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"Thank you to the Mutua Madrid Open for this great initiative."

Male and female winners will both be given a prize fund of 150,000 euros (£132,000) and they will get to decide how much goes to tennis players facing financial hardship without any tournaments to enter.

A further 50,000 euros (£44,000) will go towards reducing the social impact of Covid-19.

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