Pegula hits out at Madrid trophy ceremony: ‘I don’t know what century everyone was living in’

Jessica Pegula elaborated on not being able to speak in the Madrid doubles trophy ceremony

Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff May 7, 2023, MADRID, MADRID, SPAIN: Jessica Pegula of United States plays doubles with Coco Gauff of United States against Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during the Doubles Final Women match during Mutua Madrid Open 2023 celebrated at Caja Magica on May 07, 2023 in Madrid, Spain (Zuma/Panoramic)

The fallout from the Mutua Madrid Open continues, with doubles runner-up Jessica Pegula speaking of her surprise and disappointment that she and partner Coco Gauff were not allowed to give a speech in the trophy ceremony – and nor were winners Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Azarenka had tweeted earlier in the week in support of Aryna Sabalenka as the “Cake-gate” saga unfolded, writing: “Couldn’t be more accurate on the treatment.”

The tournament may have been a little surprised by women’s singles runner-up Iga Swiatek mentioning in her speech on Saturday evening her dislike of some of the scheduling, saying: “It’s not fun to play at 1am.”

And although the men’s doubles finalists spoke in their trophy ceremony, as did the men’s singles finalists, the women’s doubles finalists were not given the chance.

“What happened in Madrid, it was really disappointing,” Pegula told journalists in Rome. “I know a lot of like what happened, detail leading up to the event, just because Vika and I are on players’ council. I had a feeling something was going to happen.

“Did I think we were not going to be able to speak, no. I’ve never heard of that, like, in my life. Even in a 10K Challenger final you would speak. 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.'”

Pegula: Not being allowed to speak spoke for itself

She added: “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.

“At the same time there was also that aspect where we were kind of like, Well, we don’t have to say anything else. Everyone kind of picked up on it and was very disappointed.

“I mean, yeah, we’ll see what happens. I don’t really know what’s going to happen after that or what decision is going to be made, statements or anything regarding that. It was just very disappointing. I think everyone kind of felt that way.”

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