Organizers apologize for Madrid speech snub

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The organizers of the Madrid Open have apologized to the women’s doubles finalists of this year’s tournament following criticism for denying players the opportunity to make speeches at the trophy ceremony.

Singles world No. 3 Jessica Pegula, who played with Coco Gauff in a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia in the final, said Sunday that she was disappointed after organizers did not allow the finalists to address fans. Azarenka tweeted that it was “hard to explain” to her son Leo why she was not able to speak at the ceremony.

The men’s doubles finalists were allowed to do so following their match a day earlier, and tournament organizers apologized to players and fans “who expect more of the Madrid Open”.

“Not giving our women’s doubles finalists the chance to address their fans at the end of the match was unacceptable, and we have apologized directly to Victoria, Beatriz, Coco and Jessica,” tournament CEO Gerard Tsobanian said.

Tsobanian said the tournament is working, along with the WTA, to review its protocols.

“We made a mistake, and this will not ever happen again,” he said.

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