Madrid Open apologizes for not speaking to women’s doubles finalists after match
Adrid Open organizers have apologized for not allowing the women’s doubles finalists to speak on court after Sunday’s match.
The WTA is investigating various issues raised over the treatment of its players at the Caja Magica last week, and tournament CEO Gerard Tsobanian has now issued a public apology.
The convention is for finalists and winners to make public speeches after the finals, and champions Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia and beaten finalists Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula were shocked to decline the opportunity.
Tsobanyan said on Twitter: “We sincerely apologize to all the players and fans who expect a lot from the Mutua Madrid Open.
“It was unacceptable that the women’s doubles finalists were not allowed to speak to their fans at the end of the match and we have apologized directly to Victoria, Beatriz, Coco and Jessica.
“We are working internally and with the WTA to review our protocols and are committed to improving our process moving forward. We made a mistake and it won’t happen again.”
Also criticized were the revealing outfits of the model ball girls on the main court, as well as the way the tournament celebrated the birthdays of men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz and women’s singles winner Aryna Sabalenka. .
They share a birthday on May 5, but while Alcaraz was presented with a large cake on court after the semifinal, Sabalenka, who did not play that day, received a much more modest confection backstage.
It is not the first time the Madrid Open, now owned by leading agency IMG, has been accused of favoring men over women, with Azarenka tweeting in response to pictures of the two cakes: “We cannot be more specific about the treatment. »
Speaking after the women’s final, Sabalenka joked about the cake, while runner-up Iga Sviatek said she was angry at having to play after midnight.
It appeared to be the last straw for tournament director Feliciano Lopez, who responded to the cake criticism on Twitter.
The WTA has not publicly commented on the matter, but it disagrees with the decisions made and is reviewing the incidents.
Speaking ahead of the Italian Open in Rome this week, Pegula told reporters: “I’ve never heard of that (not being allowed to speak) in my life.
“I don’t know what century everybody was living in when they made that decision or how they talked and decided, ‘Wow, this is a great decision that we’re going to make and there’s not going to be a backlash.’ ‘.”
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