Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova renew rivalry in $1 million event

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will both take part in the online event. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Naomi Osaka are among a number of big names scheduled to compete in an upcoming video game tennis tournament for charity.

The ‘Stay at Home Slam’ will take place on Sunday and includes athletes from other sports and a number of celebrities.

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Eight tennis players will team up with celebrities in a doubles event that will be streamed live on Facebook.

Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, model Gigi Hadid and singer Seal are all participants.

Madison Keys, Venus Williams, Kei Nishikori, Kevin Anderson and Taylor Fritz are the other tennis players taking part.

Participants will each pick a charity to receive a US$25,000 donation.

The winner of the tournament will choose who gets an additional $1 million donation.

John McEnroe and YouTube personality Justine Ezarik will provide commentary.

“Gaming’s superpower has always been bringing people together and right now that’s the case more than ever,” said Leo Olebe, Global Director, Games Partnerships for Facebook Gaming, via Deadline.

“Blending that superpower with pro athletes and epic entertainment to raise money for COVID-19 relief and research efforts is a natural fit that we’re proud to be a part of.”

The teams are as follows:

  • Serena Williams and Gigi Hadid (actor/model)

  • Naomi Osaka and Hailey Bieber (model/TV personality)

  • Venus Williams and DeAndre Hopkins

  • Maria Sharapova and Karlie Kloss (model)

  • Kei Nishikori and Steve Aoki (DJ/producer)

  • Madison Keys and Seal (musician)

  • Taylor Fritz and Addison Rae (TikTok personality)

  • Kevin Anderson and Ryan Tannehill

Andy Murray wins virtual Madrid Open

Andy 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 downed Belgium's David Goffin in the final but 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 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 ($253,000) 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 Yahoo Sports and AFP