"Madrid Open hate doubles and women, imagine being both..Disgrace": Fans slam WTA 1000 event after Ellen Perez exposes mistreatment of doubles players

Nicole Melichar-Martinez (L) and Ellen Perez (R)
Nicole Melichar-Martinez (L) and Ellen Perez (R)

2024 Madrid Open has been hit with early controversy as doubles star Ellen Perez has slammed the tournament organizers for denying female doubles players access to on-site training grounds during prime training hours.

The tournament was also embroiled in controversies last year over the mistreatment of WTA players and discrimination between ATP and WTA players. One incident took place in the final of the women's doubles when the finalists—Victoria Azarenka, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Coco Gauff, and Jessica Pegula—were denied a chance to speak to the crowd.

It looks like the situation has not changed, as Ellen Perez took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to reveal that tournament organizers are not permitting female doubles players to use training grounds at Park Manzanares, the tournament's venue, between 9 am and 5 pm.

Perez added that doubles players are allowed to practice on the on-site court at 8 am or 6 pm, which she dubbed a "sh*t time" to practice.

Tennis fans were displeased to see this behavior towards WTA players and slammed the WTA Tour for not doing more to address them.

"What the hell? istg everyday we learn a bad thing about Madrid," a fan tweeted.
"When will you stand up for your players @WTA? It’s a joke they always get disrespected by this tournament organizers," a fan commented.
"Last year: no women's doubles final speeches. This year: no women's doubles practice," a fan said.

Some fans called out the tournament for discriminating against women and refusing to learn from last year's mistakes.

"Madrid (open) always hate double and women. Now imagine being both. Disgrace," a fan wrote.
Another fan said, "That's really horrible. I really hated everything about last year's tournament. You deserve so much better."
"Tournament organizers had a full year to get it right this time around, and so far appear to have done…… nothing," stated a fan.

Fans were also unhappy that the Madrid Open did not live up to the standards of a 1000-level tournament and thanked Ellen Perez for bringing these issues to the public's attention.

"Madrid Masters is rapidly becoming a joke of an event. Huge respect as ever to @EllenPerez95 for calling it out," a fan wrote on X.
"Women's doubles teams; not allowed to speak, not allowed to practice. What kind of tournament is this?" said a fan.

"Shipped off to offsite practice facilities" - Ellen Perez on Madrid Open practice situation

Ellen Perez
Ellen Perez

Ellen Perez gave more details about the practice situation for female doubles players at the 2024 Madrid Open. In a tweet, the 28-year-old revealed that those who want to practice between 9 am and 5 pm are sent to an off-site facility about 30 minutes away from Park Manzanares.

The condition of the courts at this off-site facility is different from the ones on-site. Perez was confused about why this measure was implemented even though four new courts were added on-site this year.

"We get shipped off to offsite practice facilities like 15-20mins away which the courts are very different. It all doesn’t make sense to me because there’s not even mens doubles here at the moment and they added 4 more practice courts on site," she tweeted.

Ellen Perez has paired with her go-to partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez at the WTA 1000 event. They are the No. 2 seeds and will face Russian duo Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Anastasia Potapova in the first round.

Perez and Melichar-Martinez are among the top-performing doubles teams on the 2024 WTA Tour, with a title at the WTA 500 San Diego Open and a runner-up finish at the WTA 1000 Dubai Tennis Championships.

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