The Worst Trophies Awarded at Professional Tennis Tournaments

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett@@merlisaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2016

The Worst Trophies Awarded at Professional Tennis Tournaments

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    Dominic Thiem holds a glass runner-up trophy as Lucas Pouille shows of the winning trophy at the Moselle Open in Metz, France.
    Dominic Thiem holds a glass runner-up trophy as Lucas Pouille shows of the winning trophy at the Moselle Open in Metz, France.FREDERICK FLORIN/Getty Images

    Perhaps more than any other professional sport, tennis awards some of the worst trophies you've ever seen. 

    The biggest tournaments, the Grand Slams, have beautiful, even iconic trophies such as Wimbledon's partially gilded sterling silver Venus Rosewater Dish for the women's singles champion. 

    Why so many bad trophies? With more than 120 tournaments between the ATP World Tour and the WTA Tour, there are hundreds of trophies given to singles and doubles winners as well as runner-ups. The sheer number increases the chance of trophy fails. 

    Most tennis trophies fall into one of these categories: urns, vases, plates or bowls. 

    But then there are those trophies that look nothing like what you'd imagine finding in a trophy case. In fact, some of them don't look like trophies at all.

    These trophies, the ones that made this list, lack that championship bling theme. They range from the poorly designed to the simply bizarre. You have to wonder what the tournaments were thinking. They don't look like they were made with the winners in mind. After all, the winners are the ones who have to live with these things. 

    Serena Williams once joked that she was running out of room in her house to put all her trophies. Players don't have to reach legendary status to fill a trophy case. David Ferrer has never won a Slam but has 26 titles. Add all his runner-up trophies, and he might be running out of display space, too.

    But that's if he's showing off all his trophies. Some of the ones on this list might be stashed in an unmarked cardboard box in the basement.

    The following are the worst trophies awarded in tennis.

Flashback: 2009 Swedish Open

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    Robin Soderling shows off his trophy after winning the 2009 Swedish Open.
    Robin Soderling shows off his trophy after winning the 2009 Swedish Open.AFP/Getty Images

    Before getting to the worst trophies awarded in 2016, take a look at this oddity from 2009.

    This trophy is no longer given to the winner of the Swedish Open. Designed by Swedish artist Ernst Billgren, the trophy seemed more appropriate for the winners of reindeer games.

    A bout with glandular fever cut Robin Soderling's brilliant career short. But before he retired, Soderling took home one of the silliest-looking trophies in tennis history.

Past Porpoise

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    Juan Martin del Potro shows off a trophy he won at 2011 Delray Beach.
    Juan Martin del Potro shows off a trophy he won at 2011 Delray Beach.Associated Press

    The guy holding this artistic glass sculpture is Juan Martin del Potro after winning the 2011 title. 

    Considering Delray's location on the Atlantic, the trophy probably represents a dolphin. The tournament has changed its trophy design several times. The past few years, winners were given colorful glass bowls. 

Swiss Missed

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    Feliciano Lopez kisses the stone-like trophy after winning the 2016 Swiss Open.
    Feliciano Lopez kisses the stone-like trophy after winning the 2016 Swiss Open.FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

    This slab of rock is given to the winner of the 2016 Swiss Open, held in Gstaad, near the French border.  

    Last year, the tournament gave out one of those traditional silver urn trophies. But this year, the Swiss decided to go back to the rock, which might represent the nearby Swiss Alps. 

    Perhaps if the base were some type of stone and the names of previous winners were engraved instead of on tiny plates attached to wood, the trophy would look more balanced and cohesive. Instead, you have what appears to be a less-than-substantial base for this giant rock.

Star-Studded

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    Pablo Carreno Busta poses with the trophy after winning the 2016 Winston-Salem Open.
    Pablo Carreno Busta poses with the trophy after winning the 2016 Winston-Salem Open.Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Pablo Carreno Busta must be the most important man in the universe because he holds what appears to be the spacecraft that transported the son of Jor-El to Smallville, the fictitious hometown of Superman in the 1978 Superman movie. 

    Given to the winner of the Winston-Salem Open, this pewter star would look at home on the top of a 15-foot spruce Christmas tree. But as a tennis trophy, it's awful.

What in Carnation Croatian

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    Fabio Fognini has fun with the trophy he won with his 2016 Croatian Open title.
    Fabio Fognini has fun with the trophy he won with his 2016 Croatian Open title.STR/Getty Images

    This towering cobalt-blue monstrosity looks like a cross between the NHL's Stanley Cup and college football's old Sears national championship crystal trophy. 

    It appears to be a trophy designed by committee. That look on Fabio Fognini's face could be asking, "I played all those matches for this?"

The Edge of the Mountain

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    Viktorija Golubic checks out her trophy after winning the Ladies Championship Gstaad.
    Viktorija Golubic checks out her trophy after winning the Ladies Championship Gstaad.FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

    Viktorija Golubic won the inaugural Ladies Championship this year in Gstaad. New tournaments mean new trophies, and this one—although better than the Swiss rock—is what happens when trophy designers choose representational expressions of the venue. 

    OK, we get it: Gstaad is surrounded by the Swiss Alps. But that doesn't mean every tennis trophy produced in this town has to look like a mountain range. That thing looks dangerous. 

    Perhaps an abstract mountain design etched on one of those urns, plates or vases would make a more elegant trophy.

Malaysian Open's Wonder Twin Power

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    Varatchaya Wongteanchai (left) and Zhaoxuan Yang show off their Malaysian Open doubles title trophies.
    Varatchaya Wongteanchai (left) and Zhaoxuan Yang show off their Malaysian Open doubles title trophies.Stanley Chou/Getty Images

    Wonder twin power—in the form of large cigarettes! The Malaysian Open has been giving out these tall rectangular boxes to its WTA Tour winners. Of course these trophies aren't supposed to represent cigarettes, but when viewed from afar, that's exactly what they look like. 

Pear Pressure

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    Dominic Thiem holds the 2016 Mexican Open trophy.
    Dominic Thiem holds the 2016 Mexican Open trophy.AFP/Getty Images

    Dominic Thiem, seen above, is holding a big silver pear with a golden tennis ball in the center. It's just one of the prizes awarded to winners of the Mexican Open in Acapulco. Winners also get a sombrero, which looks better than that big pear. 

    A silver sombrero would make one awesome trophy.

Runner-Up Unravel

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    Carla Suarez Navarro (left) and Jelena Ostapenko during the trophy ceremony of the 2016 Qatar Open.
    Carla Suarez Navarro (left) and Jelena Ostapenko during the trophy ceremony of the 2016 Qatar Open.KARIM JAAFAR/Getty Images

    The standard trophy given to the winner of the Qatar Open won't make the best-looking trophies list. However, it's a masterpiece compared to that goofy thing they give runners-up. 

    It appears to be a tennis net attached to a flying tennis ball. Like with the Gstaad trophies, this designer took a concept that translates well on paper and produced a horrible idea for a trophy.

    Jelena Ostapenko, seen holding the trophy, doesn't seem too impressed with it, either.

Save the Trees

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    Alize Cornet and Eugenie Bouchard show off their trophies after the 2016 Hobart International final.
    Alize Cornet and Eugenie Bouchard show off their trophies after the 2016 Hobart International final.FRANK MOLTER/Getty Images

    This woodland trophy awarded at Australia's Hobart International tournament should come with some merit badges. It looks like something awarded to summer campers or Boy Scouts, not world-class athletes. 

    How many more years before the slab of wood runs out of space for those tiny plaques? And that runner chip, why bother?

The Burning Bush

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    Novak Djokovic holds the trophy from the 2015 Paris Masters.
    Novak Djokovic holds the trophy from the 2015 Paris Masters.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    The tree-like sculpture given to the winner of the Paris Masters has names of winners on the limbs. The idea is nice, giving organic, growing properties to a sculpted object. But this is not a trophy; it's a conversation piece that belongs on a console table. 

    The tournament takes place next month.

Metz-Merized

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    Lucas Pouille shows off his trophy after winning the Moselle Open in Metz, France.
    Lucas Pouille shows off his trophy after winning the Moselle Open in Metz, France.FREDERICK FLORIN/Getty Images

    Lucas Pouille won his first ATP title at the Moselle Open in Metz, France, and got to lift this odd-shaped trophy with circular patterns reminiscent of the Sleestak creatures in the 1970s show, Land of the Lost.

    The fluorescent colors and glass texture make this trophy interesting to look at. However, nothing about this design says "Tennis Tournament Champion." Instead, it looks like something begging for a "Please Don't Touch" sign.

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