Coco Gauff has expressed her displeasure about the unfortunate conclusion to her campaign at the 2023 Madrid Open, where she and her fellow doubles players were stopped from making speeches at the presentation ceremony.
On Sunday, May 7, Gauff and partner Jessica Pegula lifted the women’s doubles runner-up trophies at the Madrid Open. Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia, meanwhile, finished as the champions.
As per the norm, the quartet of players were looking forward to making their speeches during the trophy ceremony. But they were left stunned as the organizers decided to rob them of the opportunity.
Coco Gauff, who has reached Rome for the WTA 1000 Italian Open, has now reflected on the series of unfortunate events that transpired. She strongly condemned the Madrid Open for their decision.
“The decision was made. I thought it was not the right decision,” Gauff said.
The 19-year-old suggested that rather than the speech itself, the thought that went into making the seemingly regressive and misogynistic decision is what bothered the players. She also highlighted the fact that the men’s doubles winners Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov were allowed to make speeches.
“It’s not about the speech. It’s more about the principle behind it. I don’t think the tournament should have made that decision considering the men also got a speech,” she said.
Gauff further questioned whether the tournament would also try to silence those who criticized them for things like racism or homophobia in the future.
“In future cases, I don’t know if someone, maybe me or somebody else criticizes the organization or tournament, maybe deeper than what was said, I don’t know, maybe racism, homophobia, something like that. You can’t just cut, no speech, no nothing,” she remarked. “So this can’t happen again for future girls, take the opportunity away from them.”