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Road trip! Volcanic ash forces players to take buses to Barcelona

Busted Racquet

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With European air travel at a standstill because of sprawling ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano, tennis players are getting to their next destination the old fashioned way: on the open road.

The Barcelona Open begins Monday and because of the grounded flights most players had to take to the highways to get from last week's stop in Monte Carlo to this week's tournament in Spain. Andy Murray rented a van for his team. Rafael Nadal left on the seven-hour journey almost immediately after his win in Sunday's finals. And some players hopped on a bus rented by the ATP for the trip.

The tennis players may have passed some other athletes going the other way on the A8 and A9. Barcelona, the defending Champions League soccer champs, was also forced to take to the highways in order to reach Milan before Tuesday's Champions League semifinal.

Though air travel is expected to partially resume Monday, tennis organizers don't have to worry too much if the ash continues to present travel problems in Europe. After Barcelona, the next four big stops on the tour are all accessible via road or rail: Rome, Munich, Madrid and Paris.

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