Subjected to the necessary sanitary requirements imposed by the pandemic but with an audience in the stands, tennis returns to Madrid after two years to resume competition in the Magic Box with the nineteenth edition of the Mutua Madrid Open.
The coronavirus caused a radical halt that invaded countless events. A gap in the 2020 calendar that forced postponements first and cancellations later. The Madrid Masters 1000, one of the most important sporting events each year in Spain, the most relevant in tennis, was not played.
It returns from Thursday 29 with the launch of the main draw of the women’s tournament after two days before the qualifying rounds have been completed.
With the main rackets in the world as a claim, the movement will return inside and outside the Magic Box for almost two weeks. It will not be the agitation of previous years, with uproar at the outdoor ticket offices and crowds at the entrance to the venue. Queues at the entrances and permanent swaying of people inside.
Sanitary demands are already part of our lives, part of every movement. And as such they are present at the event. The temperature measurement at the entrance is included in the routine as well as the use of a mask, mandatory at all times. The safety distance is mandatory, the disinfection of the common areas will be permanent. Everything under strict control of the organization.
The presence of fans stimulates the players who have traveled throughout recent times accompanied by the silence and solitude of the fields. Little by little, events take another step towards relative normality. After the vacuum at the Monte Carlo Masters 1000, Barcelona was a relief. Madrid will be too. With caution and care. It will not be, in any case, the color that the Australian Open provided in many days, with the tracks packed except for a few days of alert due to the threat of an outbreak that closed Melbourne Park for the fans.
The presence of the public on the tracks of the Caja Mágica will not reach half the capacity. Almost 5000 people will be able to attend tennis in Madrid every day. No more.
Seats with individual identification
The distance between the localities will be evident and each seat will have an individual identification. The organization has made an effort to prevent the entrance from becoming overcrowded.
The limitations affect commerce around the slopes, in common areas. The opening of shops has been reduced, also the stalls and leisure activities. But there will be ambient music, party air and places to eat and rest under the control of the measures imposed by the authorities.
Throughout the tournament, which recently announced an extension of the commitment to Madrid for the year 2022 and the participation of new sponsors, the event is subject to current regulations in the Community. The curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day has conditioned the hours of the sessions.
Each day will start earlier in the Caja Mágica so that the presence of the spectator can cover the order of play until closing. For this reason, among other things, the competition will have more days.
Meanwhile, players will live the event in their own bubble similar to those of other competitions. They will have a private area, limited to the public and the media.
Staying in hotels practically closed to them and their coaches will have to travel in the vehicles authorized by the organization. In addition, every two days they will undergo PCR tests and will have practically no contact with the outside world apart from that required by the event itself. Meanwhile, the Madrid Regional Transport Consortium announced the launch of a shuttle bus for the public bound for the Caja Mágica to facilitate access to the follower.
But the presence of the best players in the world are the great incentive of the event. Rafael Nadal, already number two in the world, champion in Barcelona, number one Novak Djokovic and others like Dominik Thiem or Stefanos Tsitsipas, main players of the circuit, enlarge the poster of the event that in the women’s tournament also has tennis players like the Australian Ashley barty, Garbiñe Muguruza, the romanian Simona halep or the czech Petra kvitova, current champion.