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Andy Murray Wins Virtual Madrid Open Title After Connection Blip, Donates All Prize Money

Andy Murray (Photo Credit: @andymurray)

Andy Murray (Photo Credit: @andymurray)

Andy Murray announced that he will be donating half of his Virtual Madrid Open prize money to the NHS while the other half to the tennis player relief fund.

Paris: Andy Murray had suffered an injury before the tennis season went kaput due to coronavirus pandemic but the Brit came to the virtual arena and swept everyone aside. Murray won the Virtual Madrid Open title on Thursday, helped by a semi-final walkover when opponent Diego Schwartzmann, logging in from Argentina, suffered a connection glitch.

Murray then defeated Belgium's David Goffin in the final to bag the title. He later announced on Instagram that he was donating all the money he had won from the tournament.

"I'll be donating half of the 45 thousand dollars prize money to the NHS and the other half to the tennis player relief fund," he wrote.

Even as Murray won the final, the drama of the online tournament had been in the previous round.

Schwartzmann kept being awarded points even though they were winners from Murray. With Murray exclaiming "this is madness", his Argentine opponent withdrew.

"Due to technical problems with @dieschwartzman's connection that prevented him from competing normally in his semi-final match, the players have agreed that @andy_murray should progress to the #MMOPEN Virtual Pro final," the organisers tweeted.

Schwartzman told London-based Murray - a two-time champion of the real Madrid event - over the microphones: "I don't deserve to be in the final...you play the final."

In the women's final, Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, who won the WTA Madrid Open title last season, beat Fiona Ferro of France.

Murray and Bertens won 150,000 euros ($164,000) with the majority of the money going to colleagues lower down the tennis rankings who have been badly affected by the shutdown of tennis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The tennis season will not resume until July 13 at the earliest due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

(With AFP inputs)

first published:May 01, 2020, 08:20 IST