Madrid Open organisers Thursday apologised for not allowing women’s doubles finalists to give the traditional post-match speeches last week.

Inter Milan took a big step towards a first Uefa Champions League final since the 2009-10 season after beating city rivals AC Milan in the first leg of their semi-final.

In Rome, Fabio Fognini knocked out Andy Murray in the first round with a three-sets win. Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka set up second-round meeting with Grigor Dimitrov after easing past Ilya Ivashka.

Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 11 May, 2023:

Madrid Open sorry for denying women’s doubles finalists speeches

Madrid Open organisers apologised Thursday after not allowing the women’s doubles finalists to make speeches after the match at the tournament last week, amid allegations of sexism.

The mens’ doubles finalists were allowed to speak to the crowd after their matches.

Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia beat Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff in the women’s final on Sunday but were not given a microphone to let them address the crowd.

“We sincerely apologise to all the players and fans who expect more of the Mutua Madrid Open tournament,” said Madrid Open CEO Gerard Tsobanian in a statement on Twitter.

“Not giving our women’s doubles finalists the chance to address their fans at the end of the match was unacceptable and we have apologised directly to Victoria, Beatriz, Coco and Jessica.”

Tsobanian said the tournament was working with the WTA to improve their process in the future.

“We made a mistake and this will not ever happen again,” he added.

American player Pegula criticised the tournament at a news conference in Rome on Tuesday.

“Did I think we were not going to be able to speak? No. I’ve never heard of that, like, in my life,” she said.

“I don’t know what century everyone was living in when they made that decision.”

Women’s singles finalist Iga Swiatek had criticised the tournament in her speech on Saturday over their late finishes, saying it was “not fun” to play at 1am (2300GMT).

Winner Aryna Sabalenka joked about a birthday cake she was given the day before in her speech, which was smaller than the one the tournament gave men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz.

The Madrid Open also face complaints about the ball girl’s outfits, which some fans said were “sexualised”.

Inter see off AC Milan in first leg

Inter Milan have one foot in the Champions League final after an impressive 2-0 win over AC Milan in Wednesday’s pulsating last-four derby.

Inter have the upper hand ahead of Tuesday’s second leg of the biggest Milan derby of a generation thanks to strikes in the first 11 minutes from Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Inter could have won by a wider margin as Hakan Calhanoglu smashed a shot off the post and Dzeko wasted a great chance early in the second half, but they are still heavy favourites to reach the final of Europe’s top club competition for the first time since they last won it 13 years ago.

Reaching the final would be extra sweet for Inter as it would avenge semi- and quarter-final eliminations at the hands of Milan in 2003 and 2005.

The winners of the tie will face holders Real Madrid or Manchester City in the June 10 showpiece in Istanbul. The first leg of that semi-final finished 1-1 in Spain on Tuesday.

Milan, who also struck the woodwork through Sandro Tonali, have their work cut out if they want to have a chance at being crowned European champions for the eighth time and will hope Rafael Leao is available for next week’s decisive clash.

The absence of star man Leao left Milan without their key attacking threat and allowed Inter to play more on the front foot knowing their opponents didn’t have the Portugal winger’s pace in their armoury.

A colourful San Siro was nearly full an hour before kick-off, with both sets of fans exchanging chants and insults before the huge displays traditional to the fixture were unfurled as the teams came out.

But once the match was underway there was really only one team on the pitch, with nominal away side Inter looking the more settled and dynamic off the back of five straight wins and the recent hot form of their attack.

It didn’t take long for the away side to open the scoring and it was a fabulous Dzeko goal which did it in the eighth minute.

The Bosnia striker held off Davide Calabria and met Calhanoglu’s inswinging corner with a perfect volley which left Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan with no chance.

With their tails up and their fans falling over each other with joy in the Curva Nord, Inter went for Milan and three minutes later Mkhitaryan doubled their lead.

Federico Dimarco was set scampering down the left flank and his low cut-back was first left by Lautaro Martinez and then collected by Armenian midfielder Mkhitaryan, who smashed in his fifth goal of the season.

Fognini defeats Murray

Fabio Fognini edged out Andy Murray in a battle of veteran tennis dads to reach the Italian Open second round on Wednesday.

Fognini, ranked outside of the top 100 for the first time in 14 years, came through 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 against his fellow 35-year-old.

Former number seven Fognini delighted his home crowd with a controlled final set serving display in which he conceded just three points.

It was his fifth win in nine career meetings with Murray but just his third on the tour in 2023.

The Italian maverick, like Murray a father of three, fired 46 winners past the former world number one and three-time major winner in a first round tie which stretched to almost three hours.

Next up for Fognini is a clash with Miomir Kecmanovic while 42nd-ranked Murray, the 2016 champion in Rome, licks his wounds after celebrating his first title since 2019 at the Aix-en-Provence Challenger on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic will begin his bid to retain the Italian Open title against Tomas Etcheverry after the 61st-ranked Argentine beat Luca Van Assche of France in the first round 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.

Djokovic comes into the tournament he has won six times recovering from an elbow injury and set to lose top spot in the world rankings to Carlos Alcaraz.

Alcaraz just needs to play a match in the Italian capital to return to the world number one ranking ahead of the French Open which starts later this month.

Djokovic won his record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.

However, he missed the American hard-court swing in March due to his refusal to be vaccinated.

The 35-year-old has endured a tough start to the European clay-court season, being eliminated in the last 16 at the Monte Carlo Masters, in the quarter-finals at Banja Luka and then pulling out of Madrid.

Veteran Stan Wawrinka will face 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the last 64, the three-time Grand Slam winner easing past Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-2.

Wawrinka, 38, and playing in the Italian capital for the 18th time, hit 26 winners and saved the one break point he faced.

In the women’s event, Lesia Tsurenko won an all-Ukrainian clash, beating Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3.

The 28-year-old Svitolina, returning to the tour from maternity leave, says the Russian invasion of her country means her career now has greater significance than in her pre-motherhood days when she was number three in the world and swept up 16 titles.

Results on Wednesday from the ATP/WTA Italian Open in Rome (x denotes seeding, players representing Russia and Belarus are banned from competing under the name or flag of their countries):


1st rd

Tomas Etcheverry (ARG) bt Luca Van Assche (FRA) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) bt Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 6-4

Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-4, 6-2

Alexandre Muller (FRA) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 6-1, 6-3

Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)

Roman Safiullin bt Marcos Giron (USA) 6-4, 6-3

Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Andy Murray (GBR) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Arthur Fils (FRA) bt Juan Manuel Cerundolo (ARG) 6-1, 1-6, 6-4

Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) bt Flavio Cobolli (ITA) 6-4, 6-3

Alexander Bublik (KAZ) bt Pedro Martínez (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Laslo Djere (SRB) bt Constant Lestienne (FRA) 6-1 - retired

Cristian Garin (CHI) bt Pedro Cachin (ARG) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5)

Grégoire Barrère (FRA) bt Brandon Nakashima (USA) 6-3, 6-3

Wu Yibing (CHN) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Sebastian Baez (ARG) bt Juan Pablo Varillas (PER) 7-5, 6-3

Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) bt Jaume Munar (ESP) 4-2 - retired


1st rd

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-1, 6-1

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-4, 6-3

Anna Kalinskaya bt Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 6-4, 6-2

Paula Badosa (ESP) bt Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2)

Claire Liu (USA) bt Camilla Rosatello (ITA) 6-7 (9/11), 6-2, 6-2

Karolína Muchova (CZE) bt Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4, 7-5

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Arantxa Rus (NED) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Danka Kovinic (MNE) bt Lucia Bronzetti (ITA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Katie Volynets (USA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Julia Grabher (AUT) bt Nuria Brancaccio (ITA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-0

Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) bt Lauren Davis (USA) 6-3, 6-0

Anna Bondar (HUN) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-4, 6-1

Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Tereza Martincova (CZE) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) 4-6, 6-1, 7-5

Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 7-5, 6-0

Camila Osorio (COL) bt Varvara Gracheva 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4)

Gabriela Ruse (ROM) bt Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) 6-1, 6-0

Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-4, 6-1

Magdalena Frech (POL) bt Matilde Paoletti (ITA) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5

With text inputs from AFP

Updated through the day