LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Nov 6, 2:32 PM EST

Tennis organizers apologize for draw ceremony with models


AP Photo
AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Special Section
Complete Tennis Coverage
Interactive
French Open Preview with Michael Chang
Michael Chang Reminisces 1989 French Open Victory
Hingis' Career in Pictures
Tennis News
Goffin beats Thiem to set up ATP Finals semi with Federer

Goods worth $400K stolen from Venus Williams' Florida home

Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Nadal

Davis Cup final: Tsonga leads France, Goffin leads Belgium

Ex-tennis star Jelena Dokic: Father beat and spit at her

MILAN (AP) -- Female models provocatively revealed the letters A or B when they were picked by the male tennis players. One model pulled up her dress to reveal an A on her thigh.

The draw ceremony for the Next Gen Finals was supposed to highlight Milan's status in the fashion industry.

Instead, the ATP was accused of being sexist.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo tweeted, "Disgrace," and Andy Murray's mother, Judy, added, "Awful."

A day after the ceremony, the ATP and tournament sponsor Red Bull apologized on Monday.

"In no way was this meant to be offensive to anyone," ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode said at a prescheduled news conference for the tournament. "The intention was to mix the heritage of Milan, of fashion. Unfortunately, the execution was unacceptable. We apologize and I can assure it won't happen again."

Kermode refused to allow the players to answer any questions on the issue.

"We take full responsibility for what happened," he said. "We put them (the players) out there and we apologize. In no way was it anything to do with the players here."

ATP and Red Bull also released a brief statement a few hours before the news conference.

"The intention was to integrate Milan's rich heritage as one of the fashion capitals of the world," they said in the statement. "However, our execution of the proceedings was in poor taste and unacceptable. We deeply regret this and will ensure that there is no repeat of anything like it in the future."

The Italian tennis federation declined comment, saying the ATP organized the draw ceremony.

It is not the first time tennis has been embroiled in a sexism row. At the 2015 Australian Open, Serena Williams and Eugenie Bouchard were asked to do a twirl by an on-court TV interviewer after their victories.

The Next Gen Finals starting on Tuesday in Milan features the top seven 21-and-under players in the rankings plus one Italian wild card. The top seeds are Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov.

Top qualifier Alexander Zverev withdrew to focus on the elite ATP Finals next week in London.

Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Chung Hyeon and Gianluigi Quinzi were drawn in Group A. Group B features Khachanov, Borna Coric, Jared Donaldson and Daniil Medvedev.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.