Madrid Open advised not to hold tournament amid virus uptick

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their ATP Madrid Open quarter-final tennis match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 10, 2019. (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 August 2020

Madrid Open advised not to hold tournament amid virus uptick

  • The organizers said they are “analyzing and closely evaluating all the possible options, while always focusing on guaranteeing the safety of all those involved in the tournament”
  • The tournament is scheduled to be played from September 12-20

MADRID: The organizers of the Madrid Open tennis tournament have been advised by local health authorities in the Spanish capital to not hold the rescheduled event in September due to the resurgence of the coronavirus in Spain.
The tournament organizers said on Saturday that they had requested an evaluation of the health situation in the city and that regional health officials “advised not to stage the tournament due to the current trend of COVID-19 cases.”
The organizers said they are “analyzing and closely evaluating all the possible options, while always focusing on guaranteeing the safety of all those involved in the tournament.”
The tournament is scheduled to be played from September 12-20.
Spain’s biggest tennis event was postponed from the spring due to the severe virus outbreak that only a three-month lockdown of the country managed to get under control. With the economy back in motion, there has been a worrying uptick in cases in recent weeks.
Spain’s health ministry reported more than 1,500 new confirmed cases nationwide on Friday, with more than 300 detected in Madrid.


NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

Updated 08 August 2020

NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

  • Orlando and Washington are last two teams contending for one spot in the East
  • The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: The NBA playoff picture is getting a little clearer.
Brooklyn secured one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on Friday, defeating Sacramento 119-106. That leaves Orlando and Washington as the last two teams contending for one spot in the East, with the Magic needing only one more win or one Wizards loss to clinch.
Orlando and Washington were both playing later Friday.
For the Nets, the clinching comes as something to savor in a topsy-turvy season.
Kevin Durant couldn’t play at all because of his recovery from Achilles surgery — yet still got a $1 million contract bonus because Brooklyn made the postseason. Kyrie Irving missed much of the year because of injury, the Nets had several regulars opt out of participating in the restart, changed coaches in March and have used 24 players so far this season.
“It’s great to punch our own ticket into the playoffs,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I joked with the guys: I like my laundry being done, but nothing like doing your own laundry.”
The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close, with teams vying to grab the No. 8 spot and play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the eighth- and ninth-place teams are within four games of one another when the seeding game schedule ends next week, there will be a two-game series to determine who gets the last playoff spot.
Should that series take place, the ninth-place team would have to go 2-0 in a best-of-two series to advance.
Memphis remained alone in eighth, after the Grizzlies snapped a four-game bubble losing streak by beating Oklahoma City on Friday 121-92. The Grizzlies are one game ahead of Portland in the West standings.
“We channeled what we’ve done all season long,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We played Grizzlies basketball. Grizzlies basketball equals Grizzlies wins, more often than not. We hadn’t done that in the first four games.”
San Antonio leaped idle Phoenix into 10th in the West by beating Utah 119-111, with the Spurs improving to 3-2 in the bubble. The Spurs (30-38) are one game behind Portland in the standings.
“At the end of the day, we can’t control what they’re doing,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “We can only control what we’re doing. We’re going to take every game as it comes. We’re going to try to win every game.”
Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans remain in the mix for a play-in series spot. The Suns, who are 4-0 at Disney, play Miami on Saturday.