The Madrid Tennis Championships is being criticized for discrimination on the basis of gender. “In what century do these people live?”
Tennis player Carlos Alcaraz received a giant multi-tiered birthday cake at the Madrid Open on May 5. Arina Sabalenka, who, like Alcaraz, is second in the world rankings, celebrated her birthday on the same day. The organization just gave her a standard-sized cake with the text Happy birthday Ariana. When pictures of the cakes started popping up on social media, Kikijit was born.
It was not the only incident during the tennis tournament in Spain that led to much criticism of the organization. The Madrid Open will not treat female players as equals to men in more areas.
No microphones after the women’s final
The final match of the women’s doubles tournament, which was won by Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maya, was an amazing result. Afterwards, the four contestants were banned from masked posting. When the women saw that there were no microphones prepared, they realized that they were not allowed to say anything to the audience. American Coco Gauff, who lost the final, wrote on Twitter: “I didn’t get a chance to speak today after the final.” Tunisian tennis star Anas Jabeur responded to Gough’s tweet, saying, “This is sad and unacceptable.”
Usually, tennis tournaments conclude with a presentation of the trophy and a speech by all of the finalists. It also happened after the men’s doubles final battle. It is not clear why the women were not allowed to speak the next day. Tennis Twitter followers point out that women have been silenced for fear of criticism of other sexist incidents during the tournament.
Ball girls in short skirts and T-shirts
The choice of outfits for the ball girls also fueled the discussion. During important home court games, ball girls initially wore short skirts and T-shirts, while in less popular stadiums, boys and girls wore shorts and T-shirts. An amazing choice, in part because the Madrid Open was already under fire in 2004 after the ball girls on center court were replaced by models.
There is still much discussion about (in)equality between male and female players in tennis. “What happened in Madrid was very disappointing,” doubles final loser Jessica Pegula looked back on Wednesday during her press conference in Rome, as she kicked off a new tournament. “I don’t know what century the people who made this decision live in.”
He did not comment on the organization of the tennis tournament in Madrid, which equalized the financial prizes for the men’s and women’s tournaments.
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