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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Sour Grapes

Venus Williams does not deserve equal pay

By Martin Johnson

Last Updated: 2:19am BST 04/07/2008

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The equal prize-money debate goes on, but the All England Club have almost got it right in rewarding this year's respective singles champions with £750,000 each. The only minor distinction they should have made was to ink in that figure on the men's cheque in British pounds, and the girls' in Polish zlotys.

At the least the men know they need to be full-time professionals to have a decent shot at winning. The top women are so useless that the Williams sisters spend more time attending to their latest clothing lines and interior design consultancies than playing tournaments, and yet they still manage - in between fashion shoots for Vogue magazine - to pop over and win Wimbledon.

Venus, who won last year's event as the 27th seed, was the prime mover in the equal prizes campaign, claiming that interest in the women's game was every bit as high as in the men's. Complete tosh, of course, as is self-evident from the cost of Centre Court corporate box tickets for the respective programmes.

For quarter-finals, it's £1,100 for the women and £1,995 for the men. For semi-finals, it's £1,395 and £2,750. And for the finals it's £1,850 and £2,990. This discrepancy no longer arises at the Australian Open, where they gave up devoting whole days to women after discovering that their TV audiences were struggling to compete with repeats of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.

At the ripe old age of 28, Venus advanced to another final at the expense of No 5 seed Elena Dementieva, despite a game that is yawningly one-dimensional. If you were to compile a list of her best qualities, it would go something like:

1) she hits a tennis ball very hard,

2) she occasionally hits it even harder, and

3) er, that's it.

Even so, in the world of women's tennis, this has brought her untold wealth, and a lengthy entry in the players' handbook under the heading of "awards and accomplishments". You can't argue with two appearances on Oprah Winfrey, while Dementieva can only fire back with "Boris Yeltsin was present at the all-Russian French Open final in 2004".

Sadly, after two hours in the vodka tent Boris could have made a better fist of that final than Elena, who has an alarming tendency to collapse when she gets too close to the big prizes. Thus, after losing the first set 6-1, albeit more competitively than that scoreline suggests, it was no great surprise when her second-set fightback from 0-2 to 6-6 ended with her spraying losers all over the court in the tie-break.

Dementieva's main problem, as throughout her career, is hanging on to her service game when she fails to get her first serve in. The second comes across the net with the venom of a butterfly with a broken wing, and even from a starting position two feet inside the baseline, Williams usually had to dash forwards to meet it before it could bounce a second time.

By contrast, the Russian's groundstrokes packed plenty of oomph, and there were times in the second set when she matched Williams for sheer mph, but Venus kept battering away and eventually Dementieva would whack one wide, or into the bottom of the net. Usually accompanied by a shriek so high-pitched that it must have been close to shattering the champagne flutes up in the corporate boxes.

Venus spoke afterwards about how the two sisters prepared for a match against each other, revealing that she usually reads a novel, while Serena opts for a video. However, as far as the spectators are concerned, Venus' choice is probably the more appropriate when it comes to preparing for a ladies' singles. Bring a book.

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:00 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

this guy must post on tennisforum.

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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:02 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

It wouldn't be a day without another dose of British sexism in the press. I wonder if these journalists realize that they're the predictable ones.

Goodbye WTA and Jelena. It was nice being your fan once.
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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:12 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

*Venus*Serena*Kuznetsova*Schiavone*Taylor*Bartoli* *A.Bondarenko*Zheng*Duval*Safarova*Kirilenko*

*Federer*Nadal*Djokovic*Tsonga*Murray*Monfils*Gulb is*Young*Wawrinka*Mirnyi*

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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:15 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

way to go. thx for proving you're a sad bitter loser

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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

why da hate? really...
he isnt the one paying Venus..
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:33 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

I read this earlier today.

She doesn't just hit the ball hard willy nilly. There is actually strategy. Maybe it doesn't seem like it because her athleticism is so dominant over her qualities, and because she hasn't changed her game much over the years. If all tennis players did was just whack the ball to no end, then the ball would never go in play and they would never even bother to retrieve the ball.

If all people want is pure strategy, watch chess, not tennis.

I've never seen a sport though where athletic prowess is attacked so much. It's kind of ridiculous. I've also never seen a sport where people are NOT encouraged from being well-rounded individuals THIS much. People need to realize that everyone is different. If one just focuses purely on tennis, perhaps they will have burn-out or not be able to perform as well. Perhaps involving oneself in activities outside of tennis brings greater perspective to the game and enhances mental competitiveness. Perhaps men have different brains than women and that men are much more able to pursue a physical endeavor with a one-track mind. Have these critics looked beyond simple answers? If a critic is to attack the psychology of tennis players, in a sport where psychology is talked about so much, then they need to do a better job of trying to understand players instead of drawing quick easy conclusions for the purpose of sensationalist journalism. Of course, maybe they don't care that they are being irresponsible because such controversial journalism can bring in the readers.

But anyways, from the title, I thought he was going to say something about women's tennis being 3 sets... but he doesn't even go into that at all. He seems to just rant and rave without making the extra effort to think about what he is writing. Is Venus power really the only thing that can be considered her best quality? How about her speed? How about her amazing reach? How about her fight? Yeah. Other than the statistics about ticket costs, he really did not do much to convince readers why Venus does not deserve equal pay.


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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:37 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

Jesus, someone's got sand in their vagina!

Relax man and stop talking utter shite. Just because you've got sand in your vagina that doesn't mean you should have vitriolic diarrhoea coming out of your mouth...why make things worse!?

If it makes you feel any better/worse remember that the Williams sister who does win this years Wimbledon will actually take home more than the men's champion because they've bothered to play doubles as well and are performing just as impressively on the doubles court.

Venus Williams
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes


I disagree with some points (Venus being all about hitting the ball hard. He forgot the movement ), but in general he brought good points, even if controversial. Especially right on the money when it comes to Dementieva.
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:47 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

Originally Posted by DOUBLEFIST View Post

this guy must post on tennisforum.
I bet his username is ova.

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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:52 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

This was my response to his article. I hope my comment isn't moderated too much...not that he'll likely see it!

What a vapid and infantile article. Crawl out of the stone age and into the 21st century. Venus' game has many strengths and even the most plebeian of tennis fans could see that. Since you seem to be even below this level you really shouldn't be writing on the subject. Perhaps if you had as much going for you as Venus or her game then you could write something a little more insightful.

I for one am looking forward to seeing the sisters rewind time and take us back to a great time in tennis. This year's Wimbledon has made for quite a good story. It's always interesting to see two sisters face off in a final, especially when they have such differing on court personas. I would much rather watch them (even if the quality isn't always as high as it should be) than watch someone like Federer, who has got the game but no on court persona whatsoever. At least Nadal helps to keep things interesting though.

Also you should remember that because the sisters have been equally impressive in the doubles competition the female winner will actually earn MORE than the male winner. I guess that is just another testament to how they can just waltz on over to Wimbledon and start winning matches (they've played very little doubles this year). Odd that someone whose only talent is apparently hitting the ball hard can make the final and the semi-final (at the least) of the doubles considering how much she has played this year.

You should probably get over yourself. That way you won't look so hateful and stupid. I can't believe this amateurish vitriol was actually published.

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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 05:08 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

@ kwilliams

Your tirade, I am afraid, is misdirected.

What you are criticizing is not `a serious article', but a piece that belongs to a different genre of classical British humor, with all its venom and sarcasm.

You must have missed the subheading of Martin Johnsons's column:

Acid wit and fresh perspective

If you are serious about sending your response to the Daily Telegraph, they will take you to be a naive simpleton who is completely unaware of their tradition of humorous pieces like this one, a tradition that they cherish and which is very old, by the way.

I rather suggest you relax and enjoy this humorous piece purely for its witticisms: it is after all very well written and entertaining.

If you are able also to see grains of truth in it, so the better.

I have been enjoying British humor for as long as I can remember. Brits are hard to surpass in this department.

Last edited by Malva; Jul 4th, 2008 at 05:37 AM.
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

Sharopova is ghost writing?

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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2008, 05:25 AM
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Re: Sour Grapes

Originally Posted by fufuqifuqishahah View Post
I've never seen a sport though where athletic prowess is attacked so much. It's kind of ridiculous. I've also never seen a sport where people are NOT encouraged from being well-rounded individuals THIS much.
Really? New for me. This is the first time I am hearing about it.

Who does criticize so much athleticism in Ladies' tennis? Can you provide me with some information?
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