into your inbox
Thousands have already subscribedy
Madrid women’s doubles fiasco simmers on in Rome as tournament CEO issues apology while Azarenka says what happened was unacceptable
On Thursday, Madrid Open CEO said they have been working with the WTA to review the protocols and assured that the same would never be repeated
The fallout of the Madrid Open women’s doubles final fiasco continued to play out on Thursday with the tournament CEO issuing an apology on social media in which he said he has personally aplogized to the players while Victoria Azarenka, one of the four players involved in the final, saying that she only received a letter of apology from IMG, who own the tournament.
Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Americans Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-4 in the women’s doubles final on Sunday but did not neither of the teams got the chance to do the customary presentation ceremony speeches.
On Thursday, tournament chief executive Gerard Tsobanian wrote on Twitter that they have been working with the WTA to review the protocols and assured that the same would never be repeated as part of his apology message.
“We sincerely apologise to all the players and fans who expect more of the Mutua Madrid Open tournament. 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 (Gauff) and Jessica (Pegula). 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.”
“What happened in terms of doubles was completely unacceptable” – Azarenka
Azarenka was back on court on Thursday in Rome for her second round singles match which she won over Sloane Stephens in straight sets.
Speaking to The Guardian, Azarenka confirmed she did received a letter of apology but revealed that it came from tournament owners IMG and added that what happened was absolutely unacceptable.
“What happened in terms of doubles was completely unacceptable,” Azarenka said. “There’s a lot of conversations, obviously, internally, of what happened and I want to see how that develops and what are the consequences of those decisions. So that’s why I don’t want to make too many comments. I believe to give people the opportunity to figure out what’s the best course of action. Do I think it’s unacceptable? It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
“I got the apology letter from IMG. I have seen the statement from the tournament today, which was made by the CEO, that we got a direct apology. I don’t know if he meant (he directly apologised) to me because I didn’t – that didn’t happen, if we want to be clear,” the Belarusian said. “But I don’t know what it meant so I don’t want to take it out of context.”