Andy Murray, as expected, won the Mutua Madrid Virtual Open to add to his two previous victories at the regular event while Kiki Bertens, last year’s champion at the Spanish capital, ‘retained’ her title.
Of all the matches I played, that felt like a proper match, we were a similar level Andy Murray
Murray defeated David Goffin in the final 7-6(5) while Bertens squashed Fiona Ferro 6-1 in her title match
The Scots confidence suffered a blow in the semi-finals when Diego Schwartzman came close to defeating the former world number one who was not just playing against the Argentine but fighting the vagaries of poor WiFi connections which seemingly kept giving his adversary vital points!
The technical issues handed Schwartzman the win but the South American accepted with great grace, that he didn’t deserve it and stepped down giving Murray a 7-6 victory.
“I don’t deserve to be in the final,” Schwartzman told Murray. “You play the final.
“If you’re in Europe the transmission is much better because of the internet.”
The official statement declared: “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.”
Reflecting on the decision, Murray said: “The semi-final match I’d have liked to have been played properly. There will be people saying: ‘you shouldn’t have been in the final’.
“It’s a difficult thing to organise with all the time-zones and internet connections.”
In the early days of his career, Murray used to travel with a console and those early experiences certainly helped him go through the event undefeated.
Having squeezed through a controversial semi, Murray then found himself embroiled in another tight contest with the Belgian.
“Of all the matches I played, that felt like a proper match, we were a similar level,” Murray said.
“I think he’s genuinely a little bit better at the game than me. He was able to use the drop-shot and the inside-out forehand and stuff like that. He had a few more options but my serve was probably the biggest difference.
“It was good. I enjoyed it, there’s not much we can do just now, we spend most of the days indoors and can’t get out much, so it was a fun thing to do.”
Runner-up Goffin added: “It was a great final. Andy was playing so good, so I think he deserved it.”
Following his victory Murray revealed on Instagram: “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.”
Meanwhile Kiki Bertens who had won earlier in the day commented following her win: “I’m feeling great of course, my first virtual tournament! Getting the win, that’s always nice,” the Dutch player who had defeated Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 in their semi, said. “Once I’m doing something, I want to do it right.”