Tennis chiefs have been forced into an embarrassing apology after the draw ceremony for the Next Gen ATP finals was widely criticised for being sexist and demeaning.
The event was held on Sunday evening in Milan and involved qualifiers selecting one of two models before making their way down a catwalk arm in arm. The models then decided groupings by revealing letters hidden somewhere on their person.
“ATP and Red Bull apologise for the offence caused by the draw ceremony for the Next Gen ATP Finals,” read a statement. “The intention was to integrate Milan’s rich heritage as one of the fashion capitals of the world.
“However, our execution of the proceedings was in poor taste and unacceptable. We deeply regret this and will ensure that there is no repeat in the future.”
There was no shortage of condemnation for the ceremony. Sir Andy Murray’s former coach Amelie Mauresmo used the word “disgrace” to describe the event. Judy Murray, Andy’s mother, opted for “awful”.