Madrid Open Director Lopez Faces Fresh Accusations Of Sexism From WTA Doubles Player

Madrid Open Director Lopez Faces Fresh Accusations Of Sexism From WTA Doubles Player

by Nurein Ahmed

Controversy has been rekindled at this year's Madrid Open, and it involves the tournament's director, Feliciano Lopez, who is embroiled in another sexism saga.

Last year, the tournament received backlash from players and fans for its treatment of the four women who contested the doubles final. Beatiz Haddad Maia and Victoria Azarenka were crowned champions over the American duo of Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula.

Strangely enough, neither the champions nor the runner-up teams were given time to deliver their acceptance speeches after the match. The contestants were not the only ones caught by surprise; those watching at home could not fathom what had happened.

The issue became a global hot topic after Gauff, Pegula, and Azarenka shared their unequivocal criticism of the tournament for its open bias on their social media profiles. The issue overshadowed the great tennis on display at the tournament and the efforts of those who competed in the doubles final.

Former ATP World No. 12 Feliciano Lopez has been the Madrid Open tournament director since 2019. He riled up tennis fans when he admitted to being surprised by their reaction to the gesture.

The organizers eventually issued an official apology to the players and the wider tennis community and vowed not to repeat what they called a "mistake."

But 12 months later, it's almost as if history is revisited, but in very different circumstances. A fan shared a tweet on X (formerly Twitter) calling out Lopez for last year's debacle, explaining that the Spaniard did not face any repercussions for his actions.

"It’s absolutely insane when u think back how Madrid didn’t allow the women doubles finalist to speak after their match like Feliciano didn’t get enough lashings for that & pretty match no consequences for anybody…"

Women's doubles World No. 7 Ellen Perez shared concerns in response to the comment that WTA doubles players are not permitted to train on the practice courts during main hours on Lopez's authority.

"Now he just doesn’t let any women’s doubles players to practice on site between 9-5pm."


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