Tennishead gallery special: here come the girls


Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:00

There’s a touch of glamour that surrounds the tennis in Madrid each year. And as our man in the Spanish capital will tell you, it’s not down to the venue.

Yes, of course, there’s the tennis – you’d be hard pressed to find a stronger line-up all season. Plus, given the time ticking down before the Masters Cup in Shanghai and rankings points on the line, there really is all to play for.

But there’s something else – now what could it be….

Yup, the ball girls. The tournament organisers began recruiting models to chase down fly balls and hand over towels in 2004, and they have always provided a talking point – for fans and critics alike.

Yes, there’s the tennis, but there’s something else as well. Now what could it be…

There have been accusations of sexism, that they act as a distraction for players, and that two weeks of training isn’t enough to get the recruits up to the job – and in previous years, the outfits that tournament sponsors Hugo Boss have provided have received a mixed press.

But anything that gets people talking about tennis gets our vote. And you’ll never find us knocking those who brighten up a tennis court.

This year, it looks like the organisers have got the balance right. The tennis has done the talking – and the ball girls have quietly gone about their business – and looking hot doing it.

Quite whether they will return next year, when the tournament goes al fresco with the calendar reshuffle, remains to be seen.

So, just in case we are witnessing the end of a mini-skirted era, here’s our gallery tribute to Madrid’s catwalk court wardens.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.