Tennis’ response to the coronavirus pandemic has taken another twist after the Madrid Masters was cancelled, potentially freeing up Rafael Nadal for the US Open.
The event was originally scheduled for April but cancelled amid genuine hope it would be able to go-ahead in August instead.
However, despite every effort and attracting the commitment of the likes of Rafael Nadal, they have been forced to concede defeat.
“We have given our all to stage the tournament,” tournament director Feliciano Lopez said.
“After the first cancellation in May, we got to work on the September date with the hope of being able to enjoy first-class tennis in the Caja Mágica during this year, which has been so hard for everyone.
“However, the continued instability is still too great to hold a tournament like this in complete safety.
“Once again, we would like to thank the Madrid City Council and all of our sponsors and suppliers for being by our side during every step we have taken.”
The US Open may now be a beneficiary of the cancellation, as it may now attract more players who were not willing to risk missing Madrid due to an enforced -post-US-Open quarantine.
That may see Rafael Nadal himself now opt to defend his US Open title after he was widely expected to focus on preparing for the European clay season instead.