Madrid Open lastly apologises for sexism row

Jessica Pegula (C) Coco Gauff (R) – WTA open investigation into Madrid Open over sexism row – Getty Pictures/Clive Brunskill


After 4 days of backlash, the Madrid Open has lastly issued an apology for final weekend’s PR catastrophe, which noticed the finalists of the ladies’s doubles ushered offstage with out the standard speeches, and promised that “This won’t ever occur once more.”

The silencing of the doubles finalists was the ultimate straw in a match that got here underneath fireplace for sexism on quite a few ranges. There was the controversy over the revealing outfits worn by the mannequin ball women, the discrepancy within the measurement of the respective birthday muffins offered to the boys’s and ladies’s champions, and the scheduling that relegated world No 1 Iga Swiatek to the small hours of Saturday morning.

On Thursday morning, the match launched an announcement from its chief government Gerard Tsobanian. “We sincerely apologise to all of the gamers and followers who anticipate extra of the Mutua Madrid Open match,” Tsobanian mentioned.

“Not giving our ladies’s doubles finalists the prospect to handle their followers on the finish of the match was unacceptable,” he added, “and now we have apologised on to Victoria [Azarenka], Beatriz [Haddad Maia], Coco [Gauff] and Jessica [Pegula]. We’re working internally and with the WTA to evaluate our protocols and are dedicated to bettering our course of shifting ahead. We made a mistake and this won’t ever occur once more.”

The WTA had already indicated that they might be investigating occasions on the Caja Magica over the course of the match, which has been run by the super-agency IMG for the previous two years. The Madrid Open ran over two weeks this yr for the primary time, however the expended match was overshadowed by controversy surrounding its gender politics.

Shedding doubles finalist Pegula addressed the silencing problem on Tuesday: “Did I feel we weren’t going to have the ability to communicate? No. I’ve by no means heard of that, like, in my life. Even in a $10,000 Challenger remaining you’d communicate. I don’t know what century everybody was residing in once they made that call or how they really had a dialog and determined: ‘Wow, it is a nice choice we’re going to do and there’s going to be no backlash in opposition to this.’”

In the meantime Andy Murray misplaced a deciding set for the primary time this season, after 9 earlier successes, when he misplaced out to previous foe Fabio Fognini by a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 scoreline.

It was a irritating outcome for Murray, whose rating has improved into the low 40s after Sunday’s Challenger title win, and who’s hoping to climb excessive sufficient to earn a spot among the many 32 seeded gamers on the slams.

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