A systematic flaw with tennis? Madrid Open keep secrecy surrounding wildcards with lack of information hours before draw

Tuesday, 23 April 2024 at 08:53
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The Madrid Open will kick off on April 23 and after a pretty controversial edition in 2023. It is very much a similar situation in 2024 with wildcards not yet confirmed, as of the time of writing l, just under 24 hours before the draw takes place on Sunday 21 April.
With Simona Halep now withdrawing from the tournament, only Caroline Wozniacki remains solely in terms of a wildcard spot. The men's is a similar situation with Martin Landaluce the only current recipient and the tournament leaving it very late to confirm these players. Last year saw storms created mainly by cakes.

A year after Cakegate - have lessons been learnt?

Aryna Sabalenka and Carlos Alcaraz both celebrated their birthdays during the tournament with the former getting a small cake compared to Alcaraz. Feliciano Lopez came under heavy fire as tournament director also with jibes during the WTA post match speech about scheduling. Also the doubles teams in Victoria Azarenka/Beatriz Haddad Maia and Coco Gauff/Jessica Pegula not being allowed to speak post final.
This was inferred not only as selling the WTA product short, but also a mechanism to silence these players. This came after Azarenka responded to a viralt weet by implying that cakegate reflected the treatment of both genders and said it 'couldn't be more accurate'. Issues with scheduling were also raised including by Azarenka and it was a storm in a teacup that shone a light on a myriad of issues.
Not announcing wildcards as a result has caused confusion and also issues already with a tournament that is trying to escape the problems of last year. But who will likely receive the remaining wildcards before the draw.

Raducanu likely to receive a wildcard

Melanie Lautrup, a prominent tennis account on social media platform X, shone a light on the issue and said that Emma Raducanu is in Madrid going there from Stuttgart. The former US Open champion is managed by IMG who run the tournament so she is pretty much a shoe-in to play. Others including Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber can't be picked due to protected ranking entries. This leaves a few players.
With it being an IMG tournament, the Fruhvirtova sisters as well as Alexandra Eala are potential picks as well as home hopes including Bouzas Maneiro a recent WTA 125k winner. But in a day and age where information in most sports is easily accessible, it is very much an annoyance to tennis fans that this information is unknown mere hours before the draw.
Emma Raducanu (pictured) has been seen in Madrid ahead of the tournament despite no wildcard being announced yet.
The same can be said about Prize Money and Draws with in a modern age of AI even taking over certain facets of life. A draw cannot be streamed properly for most tournaments and is done well by only a few instead of the majority. For a modern day tennis fan, it is more of a turn off when it comes to following the sport.
Like alluded to, the same can be said for the men's with only one confirmed and less real clarity of who will take the spots. Their draw is on Monday 22 April so the likelihood is that it will be announced on Sunday. But with Wozniacki the only name confirmed on the WTA side right now, there are a lot of announcements needed in mere hours to remedy the first issue of the week.

I don’t understand Madrid’s secrecy about their Wildcards & qualifying list when the draw is lit tomorrow - Only Wozniacki is a confirmed WC (Halep has withdrawn) - Raducanu is in Madrid so that’s another pretty much confirmed & that’s about it


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