Friday, May 20, 2011

This is what competitors at the Madrid Open are playing for

Tournament organizers wanted something new to commemorate the tenth Madrid Open, so they commissioned a winner's trophy that would honor the history of the game and add a distinctive wrinkle to the event. Called the Ion Tiriac Trophy, after the Romanian tennis great*, it definitely accomplishes one of those goals:

Of all the things it looks like, the one that I can say on a family website is medieval torture device.

The gold and diamond trophy was created by Roland Iten, a Swiss designer known for luxury mechanical pieces. There are 32 racquets jutting out from the small column, all bearing the names of some of the most famous tennis players in history. At the top is a golden tennis ball bearing Tiriac's name.

* Why does a tennis tournament in Madrid honor a Romanian great? Tiriac, said to be Romania's richest man, is the owner of the Madrid Open. If you don't remember him from his playing days, you may recall this 1987 Miller Lite commercial:

C'mon, Ion. Put in a call to Bob Uecker and have him call some matches.

Samaire Armstrong Selita Ebanks Michael Michele Marisa Tomei Shannyn Sossamon

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