Madrid Open organisers slammed over 'unacceptable' decision to snub women's doubles final speech

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Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia powered to the Madrid Open doubles crown on Sunday, though it was the post-match events which grabbed most of the headlines.

Azarenka and her Brazilian teammate put on a solid display in the final to beat Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-4. As well as bagging silverware in the Spanish capital, the pair also banked €382,420 in prize money. However, unlike their male counterparts the day before, none of the four players were given an opportunity to make a post-match speech.

The women's doubles final began at 3.40pm local time - almost three hours before the start of the men's singles final. The doubles match last just over an hour, yet the participants were not given the opportunity to address the fans and viewers. After the match, losing finalist Gauff tweeted: "Wasn't given the chance to speak after the final today:( But thank you to the fans for supporting us and women's tennis this week! Thanks @JLPegula for always keeping it fun on the court and hitting unreal clutch shots hahahaha Lastly, big congratulations Vika and Bia." In another post, she added: "Also thanks to my team and Jess's team of course! Also for the ball kids, tournament staff, and everyone else who works hard behind the scenes. Twitter format doesn't allow me to say everything I would've said during the speech if we had one. But just wanted to say I 'm thankful." Azarenka also reacted on social media, tweeting: "Hard to explain to Leo that mommy isn't able to say hello to him at the trophy ceremony." The decision to snub the women's quartet was met with surprise and outrange on social media. Fellow WTA player Ons Jabeur shared her thoughts on the matter, replying to Gauff with the tweet: "So unfortunate that you were not given a chance to address the crowd and your opponents. This is sad and unacceptable." Meanwhile, Australian tennis star Renne Stubbs hailed the situation as a 'disgrace'. The player tweeted: "So for a tournament to deny players a speech after they win a @WTA 1000 is a DISGRACE!! I hope the WTA never allow this to happen again. What was the reason @MutuaMadridOpen and @WTA???" Madrid Open organisers are yet to comment on the controversy.

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