The decision by Madrid Open organizers not to allow the women’s doubles championship and second-tier post-tournament talks is confusing the tennis community.
Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Mia won their first WTA doubles title as they upset top seeds Jessica Pegulan and Coco Gauff 6–1, 6–4 6–4 in the final.
After both teams were presented with their trophies and posed for photos, an awkward conversation ensued between the four players as they were not given a microphone to do any interviews at the event.
The incident not only confused tennis fans but the players as well, with Gauff first taking to social media to thank her team, writing: “She didn’t get a chance to speak after the final today 🙁 But thanks to the fans. For supporting us and women’s tennis this week @JLPegula always on the court Thanks for keeping it fun at home and hitting some unreal clutch shots hahahaha Finally, a big congrats to Vika and Bia 🎉💗.
“Also thanks to my team and the Jays team! Also to the ball boys, tournament staff and everyone else who works so hard behind the scenes. If we had one, the Twitter format wouldn’t allow me to say everything I’d say during the speech. But I just wanted to say thank you.”
Former world No. 1 Azarenka then followed up with her own “victory speech” on Twitter.
“Thank you to my fans for supporting your youth! Thank you for an amazing week! Our first title together! Congratulations to @JLPegula and @CocoGauff for the finals and your teams! Thanks to all the people behind the scenes for their hard work! Thank you to my team for your efforts and support! An unforgettable week.
A second tweet said: “It’s hard to explain to Leo that mom can’t say goodbye to him at the trophy ceremony.”
It’s hard to explain to Leo that Mom can’t say goodbye to him at the trophy ceremony.
— Victoria Azarenka (@vika7) May 7, 2023
Organizers of the joint ATP-WTA 1000 event were criticized for the decision and tennis commentator and 21-time women’s doubles Grand Slam champion Pam Shriver weighed in on the controversy.
My view was last night after re-watching the celebrations of the Madrid Open doubles tournament. Two members of the WTA Players’ Council, Victoria Azarenka and Jessica Pegula, and partners Coco Gauff and Beatriz Haddad Mia were silenced. why? Did the tournament violate visitation policy or just culture? she asked on Twitter.
The last night I took it after watching the game again@MutuaMadrid openDouble ceremony. two@WTAMembers of the players’ council@Vika7 @JLPegula& partners@CocoGauff& 🇧🇷 BHM silenced. why? Did the competition violate visitation policy or traditions? pic.twitter.com/9LXEE4hBVi
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) May 8, 2023
The American added in the video: “Who would have thought that the women’s doubles final would provide one of the most controversial moments of the year so far.”
“Gauff and Pegula lost to Haddad Mia and Vika Azarenka and neither of them thanked their teams or their families or their sponsors, nobody.
“And look, you have two members of the Players’ Council there in Pegula and Azarenka. Two other great singles players and as it happens they’re giving it out there. No microphone, I’m speechless and so are they for the wrong reasons.
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