Friday, February 23, 2007

wimbledon makes history

As a long-time tennis fan, I can say that this is truly historic.

UPDATE: Tommy Haas should make up his mind: he has a point (which I don't agree with) but did he have to add the usual mandatory disclaimer?
Reaction from male players was mixed. Federer said it was “a great move,” but Tommy Haas said, “I don’t think it’s really fair.”


“I think the depth of men’s tennis is much tougher than the women’s, plus we play best-of-five sets,” Haas, a German, said yesterday in Memphis after a 7-6, 7-6 victory against Amer Delic.

“Not to say that the women don’t deserve it,” he said. “The top players train very hard and are very good tennis players, but in general I don’t agree with it.”

UPDATE: Sheetal below suggests that the women should now start playing best-of-five sets. I disagree. I think the best-of-five format goes on for far too long. Instead the ATP tour might just want to make it best-of-three sets even for the guys (it is so in most ATP tournaments, I think, just not in the Grand Slams).

Besides, I've never thought that the money in tennis is proportional to the amount of work that the players put in. Tennis is entertainment -- if women's tennis is as entertaining as men's tennis, then they deserve equal pay. Simple. The problem of course, is that the men's game has so much more depth. A male player ranked in the hundreds plays tennis at much higher level -- the comparision, of course, is with the top ten -- than a female player in the hundreds. But the depth of a game is unquantifiable. Most spectators come to watch tennis matches only from the quarter-final onwards and at that level, the women's game is as interesting as the men's game. And who knows? Depth can change. Roger Federer dominates men's tennis today in a way that no single woman does on the WTA tour. It's far better to just pay the women and the men at the same rate -- who knows? that may inspire more and more young girls to turn pro and play some scintillating tennis.


sheetalpsingh said...

Its great for women-player but i feel since the prize money have been increased then they should too start playing 5-setter tennis to be equal on all aspect of the game.

Shreeharsh said...

Well, I've always thought it should be the other way around: the men should start playing best-of-three sets; best-of-five is far too long, no? :) (Seriously!)

Tomaz said...

Although matches can be shorter in grand slams (3 stes vs 5 sets), the every day work out is very much the same.

They all practice 5-6 hours a day.