'Disgraceful, sexist' Next Gen ATP Finals draw is criticised
A tennis player was asked to pull off a female model’s glove with his teeth in a “disgraceful” draw ceremony that has led to accusations of sexism.
At the Next Gen ATP Finals draw in Milan on Sunday, female models decided groupings by revealing letters hidden under their clothing.
One woman revealed the letter A marked on her thigh by lifting up her dress, designating the player that group.
Another woman had the letter B on her back, underneath a jacket she took off.
Former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo branded the draw a “disgrace”, while Judy Murray tweeted that it was “awful”.
French player Alize Cornet posted on social media: “Good job @ATPWorldTour 👏👏👏 Supposed to be a futurist event right? #backtozero”
The inaugural Next Gen Finals is the ATP’s Under-21 version of the World Tour Finals, featuring eight of the world’s best young players.
The qualifiers were asked to select one of two models before making their way down the catwalk arm in arm.
At that point the model revealed the letter A or B, which had been concealed under an item of clothing.
The event is run by the ATP in partnership with the Italian Tennis Federation and the country’s National Olympic Committee.
The draw party, though, was sponsored by Red Bull and the evening appears to have been designed as a tribute to Milan’s famous links with the fashion industry.
The ATP is understood to be “furious” about the way the draw was executed, and accepts it was in very poor taste.
The BBC has approached both the ATP and Red Bull for a statement. The Italian Tennis Federation has already told BBC Sport it was not involved in organising the draw.