Re: Sharapova not backing pay rise for early losers
This is basically as reasonable an argument as Stako makes against equal pay.
Professional tennis boasts it's the ultimate meritocracy, but it not only isn't, it hasn't pretty much since Roger Federer became Grand Poo-Bear. While the prize $ has increased sometimes by quite a lot, it's been radically disproportionately allocated to quarterfinals +. All the while, inflation has every bit as much hit lower ranked pro-tennis players as much as anyone else, and expenses necessary to compete have also increased. The reason there is such a huge gap between top players and everyone else is because the top players have all the money. A man ranked 50 can't afford to take two weeks off with an injury, much less a full personal trainer and coach. Someone ranked 150 is lucky to even have money in savings for after they retire. The same argument Maria made was the argument made against increasing lower rounds in proportion to the increases made to the latter, and it's really nothing more nor less than greed or the sort of shocking ignorance of the circumstances of others that prompted, "Then let them eat cake."
The truth is that being a GOAT tennis player doesn't actually correlate to having any real understanding of professional tennis as an entertainment business. While people lick Roger Federer for all he has done for tennis, the truth is the absolute worst decisions made in pro-tennis over the last decade have been his. Like Maria, he's incapable of seeing the larger issues. While he waxes poetic about how courts used to be, and the tennis played on them, guess who the #1 force behind homogenizing courts was?
The facts are thus: While preventing lower ranked players from affording the assistance they enjoy has certainly made being a steady top 10 player easier than it used to be, this has directly correlated to far, far fewer competitive matches that are enjoyable to watch. Players who came up before the Great Divide like Serena dominate easily on the all, and players who came up in and after the Great Divide have glaring technical flaws, mental and/or emotional fragility, questionable fitness and inconsistency. The ones who make it (Laura Robson) come from parents with money to burn or major underwriting by their federations. They have the support system the reigning GOATS enjoy pretty much from day one, rather than having to make it on their own with occasional long distance help from people in their home countries. Ask yourselves, if Stosur had the support team Maria and Serena did when she was 18, how different do you think her career would be? How different would she be? Instead she stayed in hospice and slept in bus terminals.
In this mess comes performance enhancing drugs and match fixing. When the gamblers can offer a player more to tank a 2nd round match than he'll get if he wins the tournament, do you really think he or the gamblers are the real problem? When players can't afford trainers and coaches, and they can't afford to take off if injured, how long before they feel desperate? How long before they realize they're actually getting completely screwed by pampered Princesses and decide using PEDs isn't even cheating, because Nadal has a dramatically unfair advantage over them simply be being able to afford to stay in a hotel?
Of all of the players likely to lose in the first round of a Slam, how many are qualifiers that won multiple matches already? And how is it their fault they drew Serena Williams or Roger Federer in the first round so GOAT can had a walking-bye? And do you really think any of those against first round loser getting a little bit more money are because they believe you should reward failure?
LET THEM EAT CAKE.