Currently, both players are ranked second on their respective Tours and they were also both born on May 5th, so they usually celebrate their birthday around the Madrid Open. This year, both of them reached the final and so they are still in the competition while celebrating.
The 20-year-old Spaniard had a chance to do that on the tennis court as he defeated Borna Coric to reach the final. On the other hand, the 25-year-old Belarusian won her semifinal match yesterday and could fully enjoy her birthday day today.
The organisers of the 2023 Madrid Open have thought about both players and prepared a birthday cake for them. While Sabalenka received it in the backstage as she didn't play a match, Alcaraz received it at the Manolo Santana Stadium and it was the cake.
Majestic and big as the teenage career of the Spanish prodigy. However, a different light has been shed on Alcaraz's celebration after a picture of the cake received by Sabalenka emerged. It was multiple times smaller than the Spaniard's and immediately started a discussion, especially, in the light of already existing prize money difference on the tennis tours.
However, it's important to put the facts straight and that's that the Madrid Open is one of the tournaments that offers equal prize money to all players and the difference in the cake size surely doesn't have to do anything with the player's gender.
The tournament is played in the Spanish capital and Alcaraz is probably the biggest talent that emerged since Rafael Nadal and he's celebrated majestically. Yet, the whole situation was noticed by Sabalenka's colleague on the WTA Tour, Bianca Andreescu who retweeted the image with a caption stating: 'That doesn't look right'.
Another WTA player, Victoria Azarenka who is Sabalenka's compatriot, also noticed the situation and commented, stating: 'Couldn’t be more accurate on the treatment'. The man who probably knows the most about the whole situation, tournament director Feliciano Lopez came to defend the tournament organizers' choices, as he also mentioned that Holger Rune got a similar cake.
"I’m surprised by this reaction after this gesture! 1. Carlos had just won his match to reach the final. 2. He was playing on centre court. 3. The tournament is played in Spain, even though it is an international event. PS: I hope Rune wasn’t also upset by his treatment."