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Feliciano Lopez , in his version of man in suit and tie, speaks with candor, a man with a direct message and very convincing: “We have done everything possible, but the health situation is the one that has to prioritise”. At six in the afternoon, an hour after that the Mutua Madrid Open confirmed yesterday in a formal way that is abandoned is definitely the edition of this unpleasant course, Lopez attends ABC from Luarca (goes on there a few days holiday with his family), and parses a scenario, that is irremediable. Madrid postponed its tournament already in his day, scheduled as always in may, but neither will play in September (I was going to be from the 12th to the 20th of that month), because the coronavirus is still alive and trigger infection and flare-ups in Spain. Costs to escape this pandemic and also the future is very encouraging for a sport that is suffering so much, one of the most punished for its own essence.

“When we decided that the tournament was moved to September, we had the doubt of what could happen during the summer. We knew instinctively that when the doors are abrieses would increase the number of hiv infections. But we thought that it could be controlled and that we could play. A month ago, what we took for granted.

we Saw it very reasonable to play with a 30% of public , we believed that we could. But the last two weeks have changed quite a few things. The stage in Madrid has worsened, and we cannot run nor a risk. It makes No sense,” argues Lopez on the other side of the phone, lamenting also the fate of all those who have been cast in these months in the organization.

With the Community

it Was, he insists, the option is more sensible, and so it was agreed with the Community, which since the end of last week sending a letter recommending that do not have tennis courts at the Magic Box. The Mutua Madrid Open was assumed reality and not be sought or a way of escape. “ With the Community we have had a communication very smooth and very honest,” adds Feliciano. “When we see that the situation worsens and we see recurrences, we talk with them. The Community, and that I want to make it clear, helped us every time. When we deliver the protocol, they loved it and told us it was very reasonable to all that posed. When it gets worse the situation, we spoke with Antonio Zapatero (deputy minister of Health) and with your team and tell us the reality. It is there when we launched the question: What meaning does it have that thrown away for later as they are things in Madrid? We didn’t want to take any risk”.

No one in the organization wanted to talk of the tournament due to some infection or by some outbreak, but above all, nobody wanted the people to be in a situation of danger. “ we didn’t want to go out in the papers or be in the news for a contagion, whether it be players, coaches or referees, nor put staff at risk. The main thing is to protect the health of all the world,” says Feliciano Lopez.

beyond the situation of Madrid and the increase in cases of coronavirus, was a very important factor to take into account. The MMO is celebrated right after the US Open (31 August to 13 September). “You had to bring 1,000 people to New York, if it is at the end is played. Any tournament you play, you have to assume that you have the infection, enters in the normal. People who come on a site, that comes from another… If there is a contagion, people are left with that and not with the good intention of many who claim that the tennis comes back, reigns is always the safety of all”. Do not forget that the tennis players from Usa not had to pass the quarantine to get to Spanish territory after the agreement reached by the relevant authorities.

“The situation was very unfavorable for us. This weekend I was with Ion Tiriac (the promoter of the Mutua Madrid Open) in Nice, and I met with in Madrid later, and I said, “Look, Feli, we’re not going to put at risk the health of anyone. For me, it is the priority. I’ve been 50 years with this license and gives me a lot of grief, but I can not put into risk the health of anyone””.

In any case, the people of the tournament was raised that was to be held without fans, since they had worked with the idea of filling part of their stands. “We present the protocol with a 30% public. Then because we didn’t think to do it without an audience, we thought that it was not worthwhile to make the tournament with the health situation that was taking place in the Community. To the players and to those who came from New York, there is also protect them. For a long protocol great that we had, there are always stories. Not everyone acts the same way and it was best to suspend. Tiriac has been very clear on that,” repeats Lopez time and time again.

Doubts with the US Open

Because as a tennis player, as it keeps on giving war to the doors of 39 years (met on the 20th of September), Feliciano examines the current landscape of tennis. “I believe the united States will be played, but I don’t see the all clear. It is not anything easy. It is a Grand Slam and are 3,000 or 4,000 people that they have to bring from all over the world. Let’s see what happens… There are many players that don’t want to go (soon after, Rafael Nadal was low), and that is also respectable. Others need the money… But to celebrate a big in these circumstances, it is a drama. I also understand the organization, because there is a lot of income in money from television and other interests. A large can survive with the television rights”.

what, Then, when will I be able to play with peace of mind? “Tennis, without a vaccine, it is very much viable. People are focusing on this year, but this year is lost. And next, we will be equal. January 1, begins the tour to australia and we are in the same.

There is that to survive in 2021 until you exit the vaccine and already in 2022 to recover to normal. The tennis is suffering a lot, and we still have a lot of time still. What will the people do after Australia? How to go to Rio de Janeiro? How To Argentina? How To Acapulco? How to Miami in march? Without a vaccine…”.

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