Jessica Pegula Criticises Madrid Organisers Over Doubles Speech Fiasco - UBITENNIS
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Jessica Pegula Criticises Madrid Organisers Over Doubles Speech Fiasco

Jessica Pegula has criticised organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open in the latest debate over sexism at the popular event in Spain.



Jessica Pegula (@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Jessica Pegula has criticised the organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open for not allowing the Women’s doubles finalists to speak.


The American has called what happened at the ceremony old-fashioned after the finalists in the Women’s doubles final weren’t allowed to do a speech during the trophy ceremony.

The doubles final was between Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia as they defeated Pegula and Coco Gauff in the final.

There was no problem with the men’s doubles finalists being allowed to talk after their final but the women’s doubles final was a different story.

It was a stunning event that had been building after Victoria Azarenka hinting at sexism on twitter whilst Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka criticised the scheduling of the event after their singles match.

However if tournament director Feliciano Lopez thought that this would minimise the backlash then he was wrong as Jessica Pegula has responded in emphatic fashion during her pre-Rome press conference.

Speaking to the press Pegula described it as a disappointment and behaviour you would expect to find in the past not the present, “Yeah, what happened in Madrid, it was really disappointing,” Pegula said.

“I know a lot of like what happened, detail leading up to the event, just because Vika and I are on players council. I had a feeling something was going to happen.

“Did I think we were not going to be able to speak, no. I’ve never heard of that, like, in my life. Even in a 10K challenger final you would speak. I don’t know what century everyone was living in when they made that decision or how they actually had a conversation and decided, like, Wow, this is a great decision we’re going to do and there’s going to be no-backlash against this.

“To be honest, it kind of spoke for itself. We were upset when it happened, especially being told during the trophy ceremony we weren’t going to be allowed to speak. We were kind of like, Well, I guess this just kind of proves a point. We didn’t really do anything, and here we are.

“It kind of speaks for itself. At the same time there was also that aspect where we were kind of like, Well, we don’t have to say anything else. Everyone kind of picked up on it and was very disappointed.”

The American also spoke about how the whole series of events was a build-up of tension throughout the week.

Pegula also spoke about how she is hoping that some positive will come out of it and solutions will be found in the future, “I think it was a build-up. There seemed to be a lot of drama in Madrid this year on a variety of different things,” the world number three said.

“I think, yeah, there was just a buildup of a lot of tension. It just kind of got worse and worse and worse regarding a lot of issues that you guys see online, funny tweets or whatever. I think, yeah, that didn’t help the situation.

“I don’t know if it was, like, the sole reason, but I think there were just a lot of things built up that led to that decision, which is unfortunate. I wish they could have handled it in a more mature, professional way.

“I mean, out of all the drama, I think our end goal is to figure out solutions, for us on our side, to make recommendations of, This is what everyone is telling us, this is what’s happening.

“We did have several meetings with them at the beginning. I think the ATP council, and I was part of WTA council, meeting with tournament directors. There were good conversations. They were fine. I think they’re aware. Hopefully next year we can kind of prepare in advance.

“I think sometimes we get there and there’s problems. Sometimes it’s too late to really fix things when everything is already up and running. But I know as players council, yeah, we do a lot with the tournaments and stuff like that, making recommendations for the next years, what things should change. We’ll definitely have that conversation with them.”

Currently there has been no statement from organisers in Madrid about the reasons for the incident and any future changes as the backlash continues to heat up.

As for Pegula, she will begin her campaign in Italy on Friday against Taylor Townsend with the American looking to reach the semi-finals in Rome for the first time next week.

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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