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Worst Trophies Awarded at Professional Tennis Tournaments

Merlisa Lawrence CorbettFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Worst Trophies Awarded at Professional Tennis Tournaments

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    Rafael Nadal bites trophy after winning tournament in Brazil
    Rafael Nadal bites trophy after winning tournament in BrazilSilvia Izquierdo/Associated Press

    Every year, around this time, casual tennis fans experience a mild lull after Indian Wells and the Sony Open. That's when the ATP and WTA tours head off to several smaller events.

    However, die-hard tennis fans follow these less publicized tournaments. Consequently, they witness something you won't find at any Grand Slam: some of the worst trophies awarded in professional tennis.

    Unlike the iconic Venus Rosewater Dish given to the ladies' singles champion at Wimbledon, some trophies are less than memorable. They are ridiculous. Perhaps because tournament organizers wish to differentiate their trophies from those at Slams, they try too hard and miss the mark.   

    Merely oversized or opulent trophies didn't make the list. Some of these look so bad that you have to wonder if the player just collected the check and threw the trophy in the trash.

    Trophies on this list range from the downright ugly to the head-scratchingly peculiar. 

Honorable Mention: Malaysian Open

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    BMW Malaysian Open 2013 doubles winners.
    BMW Malaysian Open 2013 doubles winners.Stanley Chou/Getty Images

    The block tower trophies awarded to all winners at the BMW Malaysian Open get an honorable mention. They are so plain that they aren't ugly enough to make the worst trophies list. But their resemblance to large cigarettes certainly will keep them from being among the best. 

Honorable Mention: Rio Open Trophy

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    Japan's Kumari Nara with winner's trophy at 2014 Rio Open.
    Japan's Kumari Nara with winner's trophy at 2014 Rio Open.Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    The concept of capturing the ball hitting the net is cool. However, the artistic result of that concept looks rather weak. The trophy given to the women looks like a ball embedded in a fence. The trophy awarded to the men (seen in the opening slide with Rafael Nadal) looks better. Neither are impressive. 

19. BB&T Atlanta Open

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    John Isner poses with BB&T Atlanta trophy
    John Isner poses with BB&T Atlanta trophyKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Oh look, what a nice vase that is. Oh, no, that's actually my BB&T Atlanta Open trophy. Wonder how many times winners of this trophy have to make that correction.

18. Mexican Open

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    Rafael Nadal bites down on a golden pear trophy at the 2013 Acapulco Open.
    Rafael Nadal bites down on a golden pear trophy at the 2013 Acapulco Open.Associated Press

    Even trophy-biting Rafael Nadal had his hands full with this metal pear given at the 2013 Mexican Open in Acapulco. The inlaid tennis ball makes it even sillier.  

17. Portugal Open

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    Stanislas Wawrinka with Portugal Open trophy in 2013.
    Stanislas Wawrinka with Portugal Open trophy in 2013.Associated Press

    This urn would look great in a museum near pottery from Pompeii. It's just not a trophy. Trophies are supposed to shine or sparkle. This seems more like a nice housewarming gift. Even Stanislas Wawrinka looks confused. 

16. Madrid Open Ion Tiriac Trophy

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    Serena Williams holds the trophy for the Madrid Open like it's a self-defense weapon.
    Serena Williams holds the trophy for the Madrid Open like it's a self-defense weapon.Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    According to the Mutua Madrid Open website, the stem of the trophy has the names of tennis greats inscribed on it. Although it's decked out in gold and diamonds, it looks like a weapon from a sci-fi movie. In this picture, Serena Williams seems ready to strike someone with it. 

15. Brasil Open

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    Federico Delbonis with the trophy at Brasil Open 2014.
    Federico Delbonis with the trophy at Brasil Open 2014.Associated Press

    It's easy to recognize the shape of a tennis racket in the design of the Brasil Open trophy. But what else is going on? The corporate style name plates on the base make it even less attractive. 

14. Dubai Championships

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    Roger Federer, the winner, and Tomas Berdych, runner-up, pose with trophies in Dubai 2014.
    Roger Federer, the winner, and Tomas Berdych, runner-up, pose with trophies in Dubai 2014.Associated Press

    The winner's trophy for the Dubai Championships is an awesome silver ship. But the runner-up trophy, uh, is horrible. 

13. Western and Southern Open

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    Victoria Azarenka holds the trophy at Cincinnati 2013.
    Victoria Azarenka holds the trophy at Cincinnati 2013.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    The huge vase given to the WTA winner of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati is one of many pottery-like trophies awarded to players. Lovely artwork, but it's hideous as a trophy.

12. Korea Open

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    South Korea Open 2013.
    South Korea Open 2013.Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press

    Another big vase, this trophy is not all bad. Like so many other tennis trophies, it would look nice filled with flowers. Inscribed with the names of executives of the sponsors, it's probably not what players dreamed of holding up after winning a tournament. 

11. Sydney International

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    Sydney International 2014.
    Sydney International 2014.Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

    The Sydney International's trophy looks like a diamond-studded disco ball. It's truly unique, but boy is that thing ugly. 

10. Qatar Open

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    Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep at Qatar 2014.
    Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep at Qatar 2014.Associated Press

    The Qatar Open WTA's runner-up trophy looks to be unraveling. But as loopy as that thing is, it's better than the perched bird the winner gets. 

9. Mubadala Exhibition

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    Novak Djokovic with the trophy from Mubadala exhibition.
    Novak Djokovic with the trophy from Mubadala exhibition.Associated Press

    The Mubadala exhibition trophy would make a beautiful centerpiece in a hotel lobby. As a trophy, it doesn't work. Do most tennis players have large flower gardens? Because for some reason, tournament organizers seem to think tennis players could use more vases than trophies. 

8. Luxembourg Open

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    Caroline Wozniacki holds the trophy in Luxembourg 2013.
    Caroline Wozniacki holds the trophy in Luxembourg 2013.Associated Press

    The trophy for the WTA's Luxembourg Open appears to be slithering away from Caroline Wozniacki. Maybe that's why she's turned away from it. 

7. German Open Tennis Championships

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    Fabio Fognini with the trophy from German Open Tennis Championships in 2013.
    Fabio Fognini with the trophy from German Open Tennis Championships in 2013.Associated Press

    The official name of the tournament is the "bet-at-home Open."

    OK, that metal fan looks sort of cool, but you'd have to explain to friends that it's something you won for playing tennis. Otherwise, they might think it's some decorative piece from Pottery Barn. 

6. Generali Ladies Trophy

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    Angelique Kerber with the trophy in 2013.
    Angelique Kerber with the trophy in 2013.Associated Press

    Angelique Kerber won the Generali Ladies tournament in Linz, Austria, in 2013. It's a smaller tournament played on hard courts in October. The trophy appears more suitable as a bookend.

5. BNP Paribas Masters

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    Novak Djokovic after winning the 2013 Paris Masters.
    Novak Djokovic after winning the 2013 Paris Masters.Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Behold, the burning bush! Nope, it just the trophy given to the winner of the Paris Masters. The names of players are engraved on branches. Yes, it's a work of art but a horrible idea for a trophy. 

4. Stockholm Open Trophy

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    Grigor Dimitrov celebrates winning the 2013 Stockholm Open Tennis tournament in Sweden.
    Grigor Dimitrov celebrates winning the 2013 Stockholm Open Tennis tournament in Sweden.Associated Press

    The trophy given to the winner of the Sweden Open is a classic case of overkill. Pictured with last year's winner, Grigor Dimitrov, this trophy has way too much going on. The big sphere on a platform would have been enough. But with name plates and inscriptions, this thing is quite a mess. 

3. Dusseldorf Open Powerhouse Cup

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    Juan Monaco wins inaugural Düsseldorf Open in Germany 2013
    Juan Monaco wins inaugural Düsseldorf Open in Germany 2013Associated Press

    The Dusseldorf Open in Germany made its debut on the ATP tour last year. The 250-level clay event is scheduled just before the French Open. It's hard to know what to make of the trophy. A horse running over a tennis racket? 

2. Valencia Open 500

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    Mikhail Youzhny with Valencia Open 500 trophy in 2013.
    Mikhail Youzhny with Valencia Open 500 trophy in 2013.Associated Press

    The Valencia Open 500 is played in October and draws Top-Ten talent. But on this list, the tournament's trophy comes in at No. 2. Could Mikhail Youzhny be thinking, after winning a tough match with David Ferrer, this is what I get? 

1. Hobart International

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    Garbine Muguruza with the trophy from Hobart International tournament in 2014.
    Garbine Muguruza with the trophy from Hobart International tournament in 2014.Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

    The trophy for the Hobart International is the absolute worst. The dinky little shields with the names of previous winners is so amateurish. It would make the perfect plaque for a girl scout who sold the most cookies, but it's a lame professional tennis tournament trophy. 

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