MADRID, Spain - Two more WTA players will swap their two-handed backhands for two-handed controllers later this month, as Eugenie Bouchard and Kristina Mladenovic were announced this week as the next participants in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro charity event.
The pair joins Angelique Kerber, Carla Suárez Navarro, Kiki Bertens and Fiona Ferro as WTA players who are currently taking part in the video-gaming tournament, which will see professional tennis players facing off against each other in a recreated Manolo Santana Stadium in the Tennis World Tour video game for Playstation 4.
The online competition’s charity goal is to help the tennis players most in need at this time: those that have no income to help them through these months of inactivity and those affected by COVID-19.
The tournament, to be held from April 27-30, will award a purse of 150,000 Euros to the ATP and WTA winner, from which the winners will be able to determine how much to donate to their peers, and another 50,000 Euros that will all go towards reducing the social impact of the global pandemic.
"I’m delighted to take part in the first edition of the Mutua Madrid Open virtual tennis tournament," Mladenovic said.
"We all need to adapt in these challenging times and we can only appreciate this initiative which will help players struggling financially."
Mladenovic reached the biggest final of her career in Madrid in 2017, where she lost to Simona Halep, while former World No.5 Bouchard reached the quarterfinals in her last appearance at the Caja Mágica that year.
Also announced with Bouchard and Mladenovic are a current and former ATP Top 10 player in David Goffin of Belgium and Karen Khachanov of Russia.
The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will feature two draws of 16 ATP and WTA players each, who are divided into four groups. Each group’s champion and runner-up will progress to the quarterfinals, which will then be played out in a knock-out format.
In addition to the official competition, a series of benefit matches will pit some of the biggest content creators in the gaming world against the professional tennis players to raise funds to help those affected by COVID-19.