Ons Jabeur slams organizers for how women's tennis is promoted

Jabeur took aim on the Madrid Masters and others.
Julian Finney/GettyImages

Madrid Masters director Feliciano Lopez has had some public relations issues over the last year. He brought these on himself as well. In his attempt to make sure the Madrid Masters was run in a timely manner, he seemingly discarded any respect for women's tennis. Specifically, he did not allow time for the four finalists in the women's doubles match to make a post-match speech. The men's doubles finalists did not have the same issue.

Top-ten doubles player Ellen Perez tweeted that this year Lopez did not allow women's doubles players to practice on-site from 9 am and 5 pm local time. This seems ridiculous as that is when most matches would be played or prepared for. Against, the men's doubles players did not apparently have the same problem.

WTA No. 9 Ons Jabeur has an issue with how Lopez has handled things in Madrid. But she also has a complaint about how women's tennis is promoted overall. While many tournaments have begun paying the women's and men's winners the same, the issue of favoring men's tennis over women's tennis is not something that a simple paycheck can wipe away, according to Jabeur.

Ons Jabeur does not hold back in her thoughts about how women's tennis is promoted

During her run at the Madrid Masters, which ended in a three-set loss in the quarterfinals to Madison Keys, Jabeur expressed her opinion in a post-match press conference about how she feels women's tennis gets slighted much more than men's tennis. Her argument stems from practice time availability and scheduling in general as well as people apparently judging women's tennis without watching any WTA matches.

What makes the last part more difficult is many times tennis is on network TV, and men's matches are on, according to Jabeur. She specifically related the TV schedule for matches at the Madrid Masters. While Feliciano Lopez would not have control over what was shown on TV, he does have control over the scheduling of matches and Jabeur implied that men's matches might be scheduled at better times than women's.

Jabeur also appeared to have accidentally taken a swipe at Aryna Sabalenka (potentially accidentally, possibly intentionally). The Belarusian recently said he prefers to watch men's tennis and not women's. She said this because she would be watching her opponents and seemingly would like to watch matches that did not involve players she would compete against.

Jabeur said, "I really enjoy watching women’s tennis, enjoy watching women’s sports in general. I think we deserve better. It’s not like we are not doing any effort and we are asking for more what we deserve, for sure."

About seeing specific matches on TV, the Tunisian said, "I would love to go to the hotel and open the TV and see a woman’s tennis match. I haven’t seen once one tennis match of a woman. All they’re showing – obviously I understand there is a lot of Spanish playing, but asking for one match? Even the female Spanish [players] they are not even showing."

Jabeur added succinctly, "Sometimes I don’t really think that it’s just a question of money, but also respect, because sometimes I just, you know, and I say it again and I told you so many times that people would judge women’s tennis without even watching one match. That pisses me off a lot."

More tennis news and analysis