MADRID, Spain – Reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and WTA World No.3 Karolina Pliskova are the latest WTA stars to sign up for the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro.
With the Tour presently shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, players have instead been invited to play for charity on PlayStation 4 game Tennis World Tour.
Much of the money raised by the event is set to be channelled towards lower-ranked players who have been financially trouble by the outbreak, which has caused the Tour to be put on hold until mid-July at the earliest.
"I'm very excited to participate in my first virtual tennis tournament," Pliskova, a 16-time winner on the WTA Tour, said.
"It think it will be lots of fun not only for the fans to see us to competing on a different platform showing completely different skills from our homes but I think it will also be lots of fun for us – the players.
"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.
"If any of my fans are pros in PS4 tennis videos games, I welcome your coaching tips before the show starts!"
Andreescu is also excited about the prospect of the tournament.
"With the ATP and WTA season on hold, this is such an awesome way to bring the tennis community of players and fans together while also contributing to a good cause. Make sure to tune in!” she said.
Read more: It's something out of our control - Barty
The competition will see 32 players compete in two draws of 16, one for men and another for ladies. There will be four groups of four players that will be competed in a round-robin format, with the top two progressing to a knockout round.
Belinda Bencic, Sorana Cirstea, Elina Svitolina, Johanna Konta, Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, Kristina Mladenovic, Carla Suárez Navarro, Victoria Azarenka, Fiona Ferro and Eugenie Bouchard have all confirmed their participation in the tournament, with two remaining stars to be unveiled before the draw at the end of the week.