Daily Bagel: Does women's tennis still get the sexist treatment?
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Agnieszka Radwanska was in Poland for an exhibition and showed off a solid chest bump with Mariusz Fyrstenberg.
• Very worthwhile discussion over at Tennis.com on why women's tennis, which should be in a position of equality with men's tennis, still gets the sexist treatment. It's an issue that needs to be discussed.
Gender is a double-edged sword for the game. On the one hand, no other pro sport brings men and women together the way tennis does. There's no women's baseball or (American) football leagues; while there are women's basketball and golf leagues, they never play at the same tournaments as the men. No women will compete at the Masters this weekend, obviously; the big breakthrough is that the club that hosts it, Augusta National, has finally admitted two women members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. By these standards, tennis, where men and women play at many of the same tournaments, on the same-sized court, and earn the same money at the biggest events, is ahead of the game.
The downside of that proximity is that it's much easier to make comparisons between the men and women than it is in other sports. Easier, in other words, to make sexist comparisons. And it hardly started in 2013. In the amateur era, Bobby Riggs wasn't the only "chauvinist pig" among the men. We know about the comments over the years from Richard Krajicek and Pat Cash expresssing their low opinions of female tennis players. Last summer, we heard Gilles Simon say that he wanted to re-institute unequal pay between the ATP and WTA at the majors. And as recently as January, we were informed by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that, unlike men, women have "bad things" in them called "hormones" that make them unstable on court. It's also telling that when people talk about trends that have supposedly changed the way the sport is played—slow courts, powerful strings, increased stamina—it's always in the context of the men's game. "Tennis," in these discussions, is assumed to mean men's tennis.
• Roger Federer's friend and compatriot, Marco Chiudinelli, says he'd like to see more of a commitment to Davis Cup from Federer.
“I always regret that he is not playing more. Everyone on the team regrets it. But there is nothing we can do about it….[But] he’s always honest about his decisions. We know a few months in advance. There has never been much room for discussion.”
• Sam Stosur, in a Q&A for the Daily Mail, says the best match of her career wasn't the 2011 U.S. Open final but the 2010 Charleston final. I'd have to agree. That's the match, a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Vera Zvonareva, that made you really believe Stosur could win Slams.
• Nice interview with Scott Lipsky and Santiago Gonzalez, whose wives gave birth to boys within a week of each other. Unintentionally, the two boys were given the same name in different languages: Matthew and Mathias.ATP's FedEx clay reliability index