The organisers of the Madrid Open have apologised 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 partnered Coco Gauff in their 6-1 6-4 defeat by Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia, said on Sunday she was left disappointed after organisers did not allow the finalists to address fans.
The men's doubles finalists were allowed to do so following their match a day earlier and tournament organisers apologised 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 apologised directly to Victoria, Beatriz, Coco and Jessica," tournament CEO Gerard Tsobanian said.
Azarenka had said on Twitter that it was "hard to explain" to her son Leo why she was not able to speak at the ceremony.
Hard to explain to Leo that mommy isn’t able to say hello to him at the trophy ceremony— victoria azarenka (@vika7) May 7, 2023
"We are working internally and with the WTA to review our protocols and are committed to improving our process moving forward," Tsobanian said.
"We made a mistake and this will not ever happen again."