Victoria Azarenka has applauded Fiona Ferro and urged the WTA to do more to stop inappropriate relationships between male coaches and female players. This week, French media reported that charges were filed against Ferro’s ex-coach Pierre Bouteyre over rape and sexual assault.
Azarenka, who is 33 and one of the most experienced players on the WTA Tour, reveals that this type of stuff actually happens on the Tour. Azarenka praised Ferro for showing courage and going public with her story. Now, Azarenka is calling for the governing bodies of tennis to step up and try to find ways to stop inappropriate player/coach relationships.
Azarenka on the Ferro situation
“It’s a very sensitive subject, because you won’t hear those stories unless players come out and tell those stories. It happens right and left on the tour, which is unfortunate,” Azarenka said.
“Our job is to be better at safeguarding. As a player council, it’s almost like the number one subject to us. Because we see those vulnerable young ladies getting taken advantage of in different situations. It’s really sad and really makes me emotional.
If I had a daughter, I would have a question would she want to play tennis, that would be a very big concern in that way for me. Just the recent story with Fiona Ferro that came out. I don’t know how to put it in words sometimes.
All you can do is check in on the person and give your hand, ‘What can I do? What can I help with?’ I applaud her for being brave. I hope this situation, she’s going to come out of it stronger and tennis is not ruined for her because of that.
That’s, I think, a very, very heavy topic. But it’s the topic that has to come out more. Do the research, help people to open up more. Hopefully one by one try to eliminate those types of situations.” Meanwhile, Azarenka has been through to the US Open last-16, where she plays Karolina Pliskova.