'Decision Was Wrongly Made': Madrid Open Tournament Director On Speech Snub Fiasco

'Decision Was Wrongly Made': Madrid Open Tournament Director On Speech Snub Fiasco

by Sebastian Dahlman

Feliciano Lopez endured quite a bit of criticism for his handling of the 2023 Madrid Open, especially when it comes to the WTA doubles final.

This year's edition of the Madrid Open featured plenty of controversy though controversy isn't foreign to the event generally. We've seen fans point out plenty of flaws over the years, even before Lopez took over as tournament director, but this year was particularly controversial.

The cake-gate was the first controversy that saw Alcaraz receive a big cake for his birthday, which wasn't the case for some other players like Aryna Sabalenka. Then we had mic-gate, which saw the players participating in the WTA Finals be denied a chance to address the crowd.

It's tradition that finalists address the crowd however that didn't happen leaving all the players taking part stunned. It didn't help that it featured a longtime veteran like Victoria Azarenka who was part of the WTA Council for years.

Jessica Pegula, who is also a very outspoken player, also took part in the final, after which the CEO apologized for the controversy. The WTA was also criticized for failing to address the matter, which was highly denounced among fans.

It was just a bad look for everybody involved, particularly Lopez who should have known better that it wasn't going to fly. It's the last thing the sport needed amid prominent callouts regarding the 'inequality' among genders in the sport. Now, the former Spanish player spoke about it in an interview with Clay Tenis.

Well, a decision was made… I’m not going to go into details, but a decision was made for which the CEO of the tournament and the tournament have already apologized. For reasons that we’re not going to go into detail now. It already happened. That decision was wrongly made, forgiveness was asked for it, and from there on, the only thing left to do is to move forward.

Lopez on the doubles final fiasco


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