Archive for the ‘Tennis’ Category

Equal Pay for Equal Play

February 15, 2009 Leave a comment

If anyone out there wants to get into a “lively discussion” here’s one – equal pay for women tennis players, and female athletes in general. Check out this article on

I come down on the side of the argument that if Venus and Serena and Billie Jean and whomever want equal cash they should play 3 out 5 sets. Why they don’t is a puzzle to me. If Rafa can play almost 9 hours of tennis in a 36 hour span to win a hunk of metal and some money, why can’t Serena do the same? Dare I say, “She just isn’t fit enough, and womens’ tennis just isn’t good enough.” I hate to think that, but I’m left with very little else.

Danica Patrick drives an Indy Car with a bunch of guys, but she doesn’t ask to drive less because she’s a woman. Say whatever you want about her, and there’s a lot to say, but she drives the same distance as the men, and when she wins she collects the same amount of money. Simple – equal pay for equal work.

A few years back Annika Sorenstam played with her male counterparts, and was emotionally, physically and mentally spent afterwards. At the time she was the best in the world. Through experience she saw the difference between the mens’ game and the womens’ game.

A slap-in-the-face-point to me is that the women aren’t making peanuts. Serena and Venus are financially wealthy and set for life. They would have to be irresponsible and reckless to become poor (it could happen, but I doubt it). What are they complaining about? To my ears this is what I’m hearing, “We’re treated unfairly because we are women. I know we don’t play as much, but that isn’t the point. We play the game. Who cares how much or how well we play. We play, we win, and we put people in the seats. We should get paid for that.” I think they have a group of Wall Street financial “wizards” for PR managers. They’re being told they can get more for less, or even nothing (Probably those same financiers that caused this global recession).

What happened to the saying, “Equal pay for equal work?” Female tennis players need to remember that, and stop being so selfish.



Nadal Dominates Federer Towards French Open History

If there was any doubt in this era of tennis that Rafael Nadal is the master of the clay courts, well cast that doubt aside and get with the program. This guy is it. 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 was the result against the No.1 in the world Roger Federer. A dominating performance that made me step back and rub my eyes. With the way Fed was playing I figured he would have at least won one set. That said, after seeing how Nadal dispatched with Novak Djokovic in straight sets of 6-1, I didn’t have much hope for Roger. I did though think he would win at least one small battle.

I’ve always had this strange love-hate liking with Fed. I love his tennis. Beautiful – effortless – grace under pressure – fully self-aware – he deserves his place in tennis history. But I hated the hype, as if he were more than human. I know his mechanical-robot like precision and skill in everything he does is just him. And I know he has personality, doesn’t everybody. But I just don’t like the hype. That said, Grand Slam titles are hard to argue with and he has quite a few. So, I fully respect and appreciate what I’m witnessing when I see him play. Recently though he has been looking very human on the court, which has made me grow a real soft spot for the Swissman (visiting his country probably has something to do with that as well – absolutely beautiful place, and the people are magnificent – do go if you get the chance). I do wish that he wins a French Open title to complete his Grand Slam collection. Pete Sampras never won one, and I always watched clinging to the TV for Pistol Pete to reign in that Grand Slam. I knew Pete was a lock for Wimbledon and the U.S., and the Australian would come in spurts, but the French title was the nerve-wrenching one. I hope it doesn’t go the same way for Fed.

That said, Nadal is “The King of Clay” and what we are witnessing is Bjorn Borg-esque, and Borg along with the rest of the tennis world knows it. So do we loft Nadal, at age 22, into the hallowed ranks? He certainly is making a case for it right now, but let’s wait to see how his whole game pans out because next up is the Mecca of the tennis world – Wimbledon. Don’t give in to the hype just yet. Nadal has challenged here, but Federer has had a lock on the green courts of the All England Club for quite some time. Can Nadal really push for it? Last year, he reduced his post-French Open matches in order to prepare for Wimbledon, and it served him well, as he challenged Federer in the final. Still though, the outcome was Federer eating his strawberries and cream from the Wimbledon Trophy.

Will that be the same outcome this year, as the mighty Swissman has yet to win a Grand Slam event. He lost the Australian Open to Djokovic, and now the French Open to Nadal. He has Wimbledon and the U.S. Open left. Let’s see where it all lands him. The one thing I say though is look for Nadal to raise the game one more level. If he can just stay healthy throughout the Summer, which is funny to say considering he is one of the most athletically fit people on the tour. But his style of play can put excess stress on his body, so hopefully that finally tuned physique is more finely tuned than last year so it can keep things in check, and push Nadal over the hump with regards to the other Grand Slams.