Madrid Open breaks silence on ‘unacceptable’ decision after backlash from Gauff
The Madrid Open has officially apologised after the women’s doubles finalists were stopped from making speeches during the trophy ceremony. Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia partnered to upset Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula – with the women later hitting out at the tournament when they were not allowed to address the crowd. It was one of several incidents leading to a row over “sexism” at the 1000-point event.
The Madrid Open faced backlash over several controversies last week, including the women’s doubles trophy ceremony. None of the players involved were allowed to make speeches – causing confusion for pundits and viewers when the four women posed for photos and quickly exited the court.
It later became apparent that they were stopped from speaking and it was not their decision to fail to address the crowd. Gauff, Pegula and Azarenka confirmed the news on Twitter while the American duo have since addressed the matter in their media duties at the upcoming Italian Open.
On Thursday, Mutua Madrid Open CEO Gerard Tsobanian issued an apology for the “unacceptable” decision. “We sincerely apologise to all the players and fans who expect more of the Mutua Madrid Open tournament,” he said, as the tournament addressed the issue publicly for the first time.
Andy Murray hits back at cheating accusations after Italian fans boo Brit[LATEST]
“Not giving our women’s doubles finalists the chance to address their fans at the end of the match was unacceptable and we have apologised 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 this will not ever happen again.”
While the tournament is still yet to confirm why they stopped the women’s doubles finalists from speaking when everyone involved in both singles finals and the men’s doubles championship match was able to address the crowd. But Gauff previously hinted that it was because of ‘Cake-gate’, when Azarenka publicly called out the tournament on Twitter.
The two-time Major champion slammed the “treatment” at the tournament when WTA No 2 Aryna Sabalenka received a small cake for her 25th birthday on Friday while ATP No 2 Carlos Alcaraz – who turned 20 on the same day – got a huge two-tier cake brought onto the court after his match. Tournament director Feliciano Lopez later replied and hit back at her claims.
Andy Murray’s brother tears into Italian Open umpire as Brit crashes out[REACTION]
Andy Murray explodes into fit of rage at umpire in Italian Open clash[RECAP]
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic ‘question marks’ raised ahead of French Open[EXPERT]
“I was told it was a situation that didn’t involve me that happened. I’m not going to go into that situation. People probably know what it was,” the 19-year-old said ahead of the Rome WTA 1000. “But, yeah, that’s what I was told. I said that situation for me was not deep enough to not have a trophy ceremony.”
Her partner Pegula also slammed the decision earlier this week, saying: “I don’t know what century everyone was living in when they made that decision or how they actually had a conversation and decided, like, Wow, this is a great decision we’re going to do and there’s going to be no-backlash against this.
“To be honest, it kind of spoke for itself. We were upset when it happened, especially being told during the trophy ceremony we weren’t going to be allowed to speak. We were kind of like, Well, I guess this just kind of proves a point. We didn’t really do anything, and here we are. It kind of speaks for itself.”
Source: Read Full Article