However, the hectic last 11 games saw Atletico find form and as rivals such as Real Sociedad and Getafe lost ground, in the end the top four was secured with relative ease.
World championship leader Lewis Hamilton could only finish seventh after serving a time penalty for coming into the pitlane when it was closed, dropping him to the back of the field.
The World Cups will feature 20 female and 20 male athletes, including the world champion, qualified players from all completed continental events (Africa, Europe and Pan America), players selected by world ranking from the other continents (Asia and Oceania), and others according to the provisional World Cup playing system. A maximum of two players per association are allowed for each World Cup event.
The boycott triggered by bonus payments saw the Union clamp down hard on the dissenting players and coaches which led to the dismissal of Simiyu, a former national captain of the sevens and 15s formats of the game.
Perhaps the best news for Atletico last season was Simeone's decision to convert Marcos Llorente from a defensive into an attacking midfielder and if Llorente can recreate his form from the end of the campaign he will become a key player.
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The first round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers for North America, Central America and the Caribbean have been pushed back to early next year as the region continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
PARIS, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- All players participating in this year's French Open will be housed in two assigned hotels to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and a limit of 1,500 fans per day will be allowed to enter Roland Garros, as organizers unveiled health protocols on Monday.
BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly took an improbable first Formula 1 win at Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, in a remarkable race that was turned upside down by a mid-race safety car period and a crash that required the Grand Prix to be halted.
The Tricolor failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and were dumped out of last year's Copa America in Brazil before the knockout phase.
Organizers have also decided to allocate more prize money to the early losers to show support to players who have had a particularly difficult financial year amid the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephens went up a double break to carve out a 5-2 lead and served out the opening set in just 38 minutes. But Williams began to raise her game and served much better in the second set, lifting her first-serve percentage from 50 to 76 percent. By breaking twice, Williams won the second set to level the match.