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Andy Murray serves up another slice of ‘cake drama’ with birthday tweet
The Brit's post was a reference to the Mutua Madrid Open's faux pas during the shared birthday of their eventual champions Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka.
Published May 16, 2023
WATCH: Iga Swiatek called out the Mutua Madrid Open's late finishes during her runner-up speech after the singles final. The next day, the women's doubles finalists were barred from giving speeches.
Andy Murray’s trip to Madrid may have been short, but the former world No. 1 clearly didn’t miss out on any of the drama that went down in the Spanish capital.
The Brit rang in his 36th birthday at an ATP Challenger event in Bordeaux, where he’s the No. 2 seed after lifting his first clay-court trophy since 2016 at Aix-en-Provence. On Monday, Murray took to Twitter to share his one tongue-in-cheek birthday wish:
“If I don’t get a cake of equal size if not slightly bigger than Alcaraz today [I'm] going to be absolutely f**king furious,” Murray wrote, adding an angry face emoji.
The post is a reference to one of the headline-grabbing moments from the Mutua Madrid Open, which saw the tournament commit a major faux pas during the shared birthday of eventual champions Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka.
Both world No. 2s received celebratory cakes from organizers—but tennis fans cried foul and pointed out the difference in size between Alcaraz’s multi-layer cake and Sabalenka’s humble pie.
As tournament director Feliciano Lopez tried to brush off sexism comments by pointing to Alcaraz’s status as a defending champion and home favorite, things heated up even more when Victoria Azarenka, a member of the WTA Player Council, pointed out that the difference in treatment is not just confectionery.
Indeed the tournament had already been in hot water for their use of crop tops and short skirts as the uniform for female ballpersons during some marquee men’s matches. Amid backlash, Madrid—a tournament with a history of employing ‘model’ ballpersons—quietly changed the uniforms ahead of the final weekend.
But it all came to a head on the last day of the tournament. In an unusual move, all of the four women’s doubles finalists—including outspoken Azarenka, who won the title with Beatriz Haddad Maia—were denied a chance to give a customary speech after receiving their trophies.
“It was kind of awkward. Nobody really knew what to do,” Jessica Pegula, a finalist alongside Coco Gauff, said in Rome. “The guy was like, Now you go up on the podium and take a picture together.
“Then Vika turned to us and said, ‘There’s no speeches.’ We were like, ‘What?’ She was like, ‘We’re not allowed to talk.’”
The move triggered backlash from players and fans alike, especially in light of the fact that the Madrid men’s doubles champions and finalists had been given plenty of opportunity to speak the previous day.
Tournament organizers issued an apology four days later for their “unacceptable” mistake, but it’s clear that there may be more servings of this story as “cake-gate” fallout continues.