MADRID: An expanded Madrid Masters 1000 will be contested over two weeks from 2021 instead of the usual one, organisers for the ATP and WTA tournament said in a statement on Wednesday.
A key event in the clay court season in the build-up to the French Open, the Madrid Masters will run from April 27 to May 9.
"The extension reaffirms the spirit of growth at the only combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory to be played in Europe," said organisers in their statement.
This year's edition was cancelled because of coronavirus although Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andy Murray wre among the players who took part in a virtual tournament where they swapped their rackets for games consoles.
"We're happy to have achieved the goal of becoming a two-week tournament," said Madrid Open director Feliciano Lopez.
"We sought this expansion and it is well-deserved, necessary, and will allow us to enjoy the best tennis in the world at the Caja Magica for a few more days.
"All the fans will welcome this news with open arms."
The tournament kicks off on April 27 with the WTA preliminary round, and the first round of the women's final draw will be played on April 29.
Men's qualifying kicks off on Friday, April 30, and the first round of the men's draw will begin on Sunday, May 2. – AFP