The Madrid Open is one of the precursors to the French Open later this month, and while most of the tennis world is celebrating the victories of Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka, there was a fair amount of controversy along the way.
First, Victoria Azarenka pointed out the differences in the cakes that the tournament champions received. Alcaraz, who is from Spain, received the giant two-tiered dessert after his victory over Jan-Lennard Struff. Sabalenka was treated to a one-tier cake with some candles and fanfare.
Azarenka agreed with one Twitter user who wrote: «the difference in the size of the pie is staggering.»
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However, Friday was Alcaraz’s birthday.
Also, Azarenka and her doubles partner Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in the final, but the winners were unable to address the crowd after the match. According to USA Today, the finalists in the men’s singles and doubles and women’s singles had a chance to speak to the crowd.
«Didn’t get a chance to speak after today’s final 🙁 But thanks to the fans for supporting us and women’s tennis this week! Thank you @JLPegula for always keeping the fun on court and making unreal clutch shots lol Finally, big congratulations Vika and Bia,» Gauff tweeted on Sunday.
«[A]Also thanks to my team and Jess’s team of course! Also to the ball boys, tournament staff and everyone else who works hard behind the scenes. The Twitter format doesn’t allow me to say everything I would have said during the speech if we had one. But I just wanted to say I’m grateful.»
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Pegula added her own opinion to the mix.
«I don’t know what century everyone was living in when they made that decision,» she said Tuesday, via Tennis Majors. «To be honest, it spoke for itself. We were upset when it happened, especially when we were told during the trophy ceremony that we wouldn’t be allowed to speak. We were like, Well, I guess this is a bit of a proof of a point.»
Finally, the other controversy came from those who did not play the trophies.
During the men’s matches, the women’s team whose job it was to provide the balls to the competitors wore short skirts and cropped tops that showed their midriffs. After the complaints, the dance team changed their outfits.
Pilar Calvino, spokeswoman for the Spanish Association of Women in Professional Sport, told The Independent that organizers were urged to change the policy on the dress code.
“It’s a way of feminizing girls relative to boys who don’t dress the same way,” Calvino said. «Ultimately, it’s a form of gender-based violence that’s so widespread that people don’t even realize it.»
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The organizers of the Madrid Open have not addressed the protests.