Controversy at Madrid Open: Sexist Ball Girl Outfits, Silenced Women’s Finalists, and Small Cakes


The Madrid Open is a renowned tennis tournament that attracts some of the most prominent players in the sport. Unfortunately, this year’s occasion has been marred by several extraneous controversies. The tournament administration has received criticism for the clothing provided to ball girls on the principal court. They were outfitted in crop tops and short skirts, which has been considered a form of sexism by some, including Pilar Calvo, who is a representative for The Association for Women in Professional Sports.

Despite the fact that the skirts were replaced with long shorts for the finals, the crop tops remained. This further fueled the debate on gender bias in sports. Additionally, the winners and losers of the women’s doubles final were not given the opportunity to deliver their speeches, which has provoked allegations of gender discrimination.

The tournament director, Feliciano López, responded to these allegations by clarifying that the difference in the birthday cakes given to the men’s and women’s singles champions was solely based on the men’s champion’s advancement to the final, playing on the main court, and being the local favorite. He maintained that it was not a reflection of any gender bias.

However, the controversies surrounding this year’s Madrid Open have brought the ongoing debate surrounding gender equality in sports into the spotlight. The incidents highlighted the need for continued efforts to ensure that all athletes, regardless of gender, are treated fairly and equitably.

Gender bias in sports is not a new issue. It has been a pervasive problem for many years. Women have often been treated unfairly compared to their male counterparts in terms of funding, media coverage, and sponsorship opportunities.

Efforts are being made to address these issues. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has been particularly proactive in promoting gender equality in sports. They have implemented measures to ensure that female athletes receive equal pay and have worked to increase media coverage and sponsorship opportunities for women’s sports.

However, there still remains much more work to be done. The incidents at the Madrid Open serve as a reminder that gender bias in sports is an ongoing issue that requires continued attention and effort. It is important for all stakeholders in sports, including tournament administrators, athletes, and fans, to work together to promote gender equality and ensure that all athletes, regardless of gender, are treated fairly and equitably.