I have a real bone to pick with the state of professional women’s tennis (WTA, Are you listening)? Might as well jump right into the things that annoy me on a Monday morning (and if this is a subject in which you have no interest, I won’t feel hurt if you excuse yourself). Those of you that follow my blog know that I am a tennis fan…sorry, absolute fanatic. So, I feel like I am obliged to b*tch about the sport that I have supported for most of my life; of course I will also freely admit that my passion is more for the men’s game opposed to the women’s. But this is for a few well-founded reasons.
I was watching the final of the Australian Open (not sure if you saw it), and it was such a lopsided whitewash that it was downright infuriating. Not to take away from the winner of the match, she put in an amazing performance and will probably have an illustrious career. But the other player, who is a top five player and one of the strongest on the tour, basically did not show up to play. Figuratively of course, not literally. She essentially imploded right before our very eyes, something she often does once she reaches the final of a tournament.
My gripes don’t stop there, so buckle in, it’s going to get bumpy. Secondly, the final I was watching went two sets long. Two sets. I think it was over in just over an hour (the men's final, in contrast, took six hours and set a new record). The King takes longer to eat breakfast. In this day and age, it's far time women should be playing 3 out of 5 sets. You want the same prize money, you want the same interest from the audience, stop lollygagging around with your two sets nonsense and start playing like the athletes that you supposedly are. [Sorry, too harsh for a Monday?] If Martha and Susie at the club (hypothetically of course) can only muster two sets; I get it, this is their hobby. Give them an ice tea and let’s call it a day. But if you’re ranked number one in the world and you can’t go five sets on the world stage, Houston we have a problem.
More importantly, half of the women's tour looks like they need to hit the gym, for a looooong time. AGAIN, you’re athletes - professional athletes to be exact, which means it’s your profession – your JOB – to be in shape and more importantly, to look in shape. You train every single day with the top trainers in the world at the best facilities; if you’re not looking fit and ready to face your opponent, then what hope is there for the rest of us? Not to mention, people like me tune into tennis want to watch players that can actually run around a court without looking like they’re going to pass out. I get it, it’s very hard work, the tour is excruciatingly long, but you’re not sitting behind a desk popping bon-bons into your mouths (or are you?). So if you’re going to wear hot shorts on the court, please do us a favor and look good in them.
Furthermore, if women players can come out of retirement, go back on the tour and end up winning a Grand Slam months after coming back (Kim Clijsters), the rest of the WTA has a serious problem. In short, Ladies on the tour, you better hit the practice court and figure out what you’re doing wrong. And finally, and most importantly, STOP grunting. You sound like stuck pigs being dragged to your slaughter and it’s incredibly annoying to listen to. The men don’t grunt like you do and they put ten times the power behind the ball (this isn’t an exact statistic of course, but they are stronger, barring the Williams sisters. Those two could out arm-wrestle Madonna). Is it not possible to hit the ball without screaming like you're being murdered?
All this said - and fine, brutally so, but I've had a long weekend - there are some unbelievable athletes on the tour and my love for the game is unwavering. I can confidently say that I will be a fan for life. But everyone's a critic, now aren't they, especially on a Monday.