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THERE has always been an underlying feeling at recent Australian Opens that the women's game is flawed.

It's just that the grunt of Maria Sharapova, the artistry of Justine Henin and brute force of Serena Williams was enough to keep everyone distracted from the problems bubbling beneath.

With Sharapova and Henin missing this year, the weakness was exposed for all to see.

Throughout the first 11 days of the tournament, those still delusional about the women having as much pulling power as the men must have come to their senses.

Yes, the Jelena Dokic story was gripping, but too many women's matches were littered with unforced errors.

Then in the space of 24 hours, across Friday and Saturday, it all came to a head.

This was no ordinary wake-up call. It was like being slapped across both cheeks with a slimy mullet.

The gap between the quality of men's and women's game has never seemed wider.

Yet the gap in prizemoney has been closed. Both the men's and women's winners walk away with $2 million.

Equal prizemoney is a generous gesture, but it doesn't add up.

Anybody who sat through the Fernando Verdasco-Rafael Nadal epic on Friday night and followed up by watching the Williams-Dinara Safina cakewalk on Saturday night would have to agree.

The men who have busted a gut, playing best of five sets and at times sending the crowds into a frenzy, have every right to feel short changed.

Verdasco picked up the same pay cheque for his semi-final heroics as Russian Vera Zvonareva, who bowed out in the semis a day earlier in a forgettable two-set encounter.

And the loser of last night's marquee match walked away with the same as Safina, stoic throughout the early rounds but embarrassingly uncompetitive when it counted most in a 6-0 6-3 loss to Williams.

Safina's capitulation was excruciating to watch. Double-faults; nervous missed forehands; desperate drop shots . . . you had to look away.

Safina made 21 unforced errors in 59 minutes. A night earlier, Nadal made just 25 in 5hr14min.

The was some pleasure in seeing Williams at the top of her game, but as a contest it was a prime-time stinker for Channel 7.

Full credit to tournament boss Craig Tiley for backing a night women's final. It's a correct call -- and the event continues to thrive as Melbourne' best international event.

But what is out of Tiley's hands is the women's product he has to work with. The depth of quality, remembering Kim Clijsters and Lindsday Davenport are other recent retirees, just is not there.

There is a sameness about the women's game. As Seven commentator Tracy Austin often said during the past fortnight, few players have a plan B.

Where's the science and subtlety? Any chance of Safina starting to use slice, take the pace off the ball or (heaven forbid) even come to the net to put Williams off? Hell, no. Plan A is all she had.

And yes, too many women turned up looking out of shape. Anyone with two eyes could see that . . . you don't need a degree in physical science.

Marion Bartoli and Kaia Kanepi were obviously carrying extra kilos and why is everyone so sensitive about it? Imagine the flack Lleyton Hewitt would cop if he turned up with "excess baggage". He'd cop it far worse.

What Roger Rasheed said about women in general in his role as a commentator was spot on. Others in the hallways may have whispered but agreed.

Take away the Dokic story and it was not a great fortnight for the credibility of women's tennis.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24993682-3162,00.html
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

Blah Blah Blah...

Two great matches on the men's side makes up for the Federer blowout in the QF? How about the Roddick disappointment in the semis? How about all the other rounds where the seeds cruised?

We saw a great women's final in 2008 Wimbledon where tennis was lifted to another level. Where were you then?

No worries, just wait for the next all Williams final. :angel:
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

I knew Mark Stevens would've wrote this as soon as I saw it was a Herald Sun article. It wouldn't be the Australian Open without his annual trashing of women's tennis.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

If there's problems on the women's side, then there are certainly issues on the men's. The only major difference is that they play 3 of 5 sets, so it adds to the drama, whereas the women can get it done and over in two. Think of how much we'd be saying the men's game is in trouble if they played 2 out of 3 sets. I notice this topic seems to be popping up everywhere since Serena won, but the truth is Rafa, Roger and most of the top 5 men would drub every opponent out of the top 10 or 15 in two fast sets. They are lucky they have longer to hash it out and "make it a match." Personally, I find it hard to sit through 4 and 5 hour men's matches, but maybe that's just me. Besides, everyone gets a look at the Verdasco/Nadal match and decides women's tennis has issues??? That's a historic match that happens once in a while.

I'm perfectly okay with women's tennis. For some reason the serve was an issue from beginning to end for a lot of the top players, but I enjoyed the Dokic storyline as well as a lot of other matches, including the final :))
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

It's simple-when people don't like Serena, they will attack the tour when she dominates :eek: All this "women's tennis is dead" talk is really garbage and people need to stop whining about Serena being back on top again :shrug:

During the clay season when Nadal starts double bageling everyone again, the critics will just say "he's too good" instead of asking why no one can compete with him.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

If you don't like it, then follow something else!
My goodness, all people wanna do is bitch!
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

If there's problems on the women's side, then there are certainly issues on the men's. The only major difference is that they play 3 of 5 sets, so it adds to the drama, whereas the women can get it done and over in two. Think of how much we'd be saying the men's game is in trouble if they played 2 out of 3 sets. I notice this topic seems to be popping up everywhere since Serena won, but the truth is Rafa, Roger and most of the top 5 men would drub every opponent out of the top 10 or 15 in two fast sets. They are lucky they have longer to hash it out and "make it a match." Personally, I find it hard to sit through 4 and 5 hour men's matches, but maybe that's just me. Besides, everyone gets a look at the Verdasco/Nadal match and decides women's tennis has issues??? That's a historic match that happens once in a while.

I'm perfectly okay with women's tennis. For some reason the serve was an issue from beginning to end for a lot of the top players, but I enjoyed the Dokic storyline as well as a lot of other matches, including the final :))
I'm very happy Serena won for the credibility of womens Tennis.

However, Serena fans have to realise this topic keeps coming up regardless of whether Serena won the Aussie Open or not. They are been too sensitive about it right now.

I'm glad Serena is actually here otherwise womens Tennis would have even more scrutiny.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

Yes, women's tennis is crappy, but what are you gonna do about it? We can't ask them to play best of 5 sets if it's already vomit-inducing to see the sh*t they come up with in just 2 sets. And plus, once you give equal prize money, it's too late to take it back.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

I'm very happy Serena won for the credibility of womens Tennis.

However, Serena fans have to realise this topic keeps coming up regardless of whether Serena won the Aussie Open or not. They are been too sensitive about it right now.

I'm glad Serena is actually here otherwise womens Tennis would have even more scrutiny.
I hear you. Maybe I got a little defensive, but it just seems and you can call me crazy, but every time Serena wins, there's a barrage of articles talking about the decline of women's tennis.

That being said, I still think there's nothing wrong with women's tennis. The 3 set versus the 5 set format is the reason I think women's tennis sometimes lacks the intensity of the men's game. Although, this fortnight there have been some good three-setters on the women's side.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

The gap between the quality of men's and women's game has never seemed wider.

Yet the gap in prizemoney has been closed. Both the men's and women's winners walk away with $2 million.

Equal prizemoney is a generous gesture, but it doesn't add up.

.....

The men who have busted a gut, playing best of five sets and at times sending the crowds into a frenzy, have every right to feel short changed.

Verdasco picked up the same pay cheque for his semi-final heroics as Russian Vera Zvonareva, who bowed out in the semis a day earlier in a forgettable two-set encounter.

And the loser of last night's marquee match walked away with the same as Safina, stoic throughout the early rounds but embarrassingly uncompetitive when it counted most in a 6-0 6-3 loss to Williams.

Safina's capitulation was excruciating to watch. Double-faults; nervous missed forehands; desperate drop shots . . . you had to look away.

Safina made 21 unforced errors in 59 minutes. A night earlier, Nadal made just 25 in 5hr14min.
The WTA players are just going to have to get used to this. Best not to even try to answer because by and large it's all true. The case for equal prizemoney was weak but the argument was won. It's over and there's no going back now and it would be wrong to do so. But people are always going to bring this up when you compare the quality of the tennis. And these articles are not going to go away when there's a lot of truth in them.

Of course the quality of play is not the be all and end all why most of us watch the WTA. Yes I'd live it if all women's matches I watch were high quality. But when I watch JJ - I watch her because I want her to win. And I'd much rather watch her win an ugly match than lose a high quality match.

WTA doesn't really come close to the ATP in terms of quality. The Dinara stats in the article are there in black and white and can't be denied. But she shouldn't be made to take all the blame. Look at the other matches as well.

Take all the QF, SF and final matches at AO and USO. That's the last 7 matches of the tournaments which should be the best (so we have 14 stats for the players). Comparing the number of times each player had more winners than unforced errors in these matches (so we have 7*2=14 stats per gender per tournament):
  • AO: Men 13 (only Del Potro didn't); Women 1 !! (2 had the same)
  • USO: Men 8; Women 4
So only Serena against Dianara had more winners than UEs at the AO from QF onwards! In QF and SF when she had stiffer opposition - she had more UEs than winners.

And at USO - even when Venus played Serena in USO QF (regarded by many as the highlight) - both players hit more UEs than winners!

So it's understandable that you get articles like this saying women't tennis sucks and they get equal pay for it!
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

Scanned it and as soon as I realised that they were comparing Nadal to Safina in terms of ability as a player I gave up. WTF is the point. They just attack selectively and gloss over the fact that there were snorefests and one sided cakewalks in the mens again.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

I'll probably still watch it even if it gets worse... possibly? It's bound to get better though at some point and the year just started.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

Blah Blah Blah...

Two great matches on the men's side makes up for the Federer blowout in the QF? How about the Roddick disappointment in the semis? How about all the other rounds where the seeds cruised?We saw a great women's final in 2008 Wimbledon where tennis was lifted to another level. Where were

you then?

No worries, just wait for the next all Williams final. :angel:
I agree with that, and Womens tennis looked like it was finally recovering after the Wimbledon Final and then the USO, but bar Jelena, this AO has been HORRIFIA and there's no strength in depth and the defining factors in all of these great matches have been the Williams Sisters. Once they retire, the tour is BEYOND FUCKED. Even though I agreed with you when talking about the "Federer blowout in the QF" is ridiculous, a Final is meant to be the showdown between the best two players of a tournament or at least the best and the third best and it is what makes a tournament. The bottom line is the men's final was amazing where as the WTA final SUCKED. And that is what is going to be remembered. There may have been some blowouts, but when they are suppost to, and where it has mattered the men have produced some AMAZING tennis whereas the Women have been the complete opposite.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

We have just had a really poor final but then the WTA have given us excellent matches. Just remember Justine's match against Jennifer at the US Open in 2003 and the Wimbledon final of 2005, some great moments.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

There is no going back on the pay situation unless the ticket sales/tv revenues for womens matches falls so dramatically that they are forced to due to financial constraints. Would any of you pay the nearly £100 it costs to see the average GS women's final if Safina was in it? The WTA will be fine though as long as Safina and her motely crew of choking Russian losers stay away from the finals.

I don't know why anyone thinks Maria coming back is going to "save" the WTA, it's not been established that her shoulder will hold up and even if it does it'll be months until she's in any kind of form. Plus her record against Serena in finals isn't that great either. She's miles better than Safina at her best but how often is she in that form, once every 1-2 years or so.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

The women playing five sets would put all this nonsense to rest.
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

:yawn: select a couple matches on the men's side and ignore the snoozefests i had to sit through becuase my ESPN had to show certain matches...
 

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Re: Is women's tennis worth it?

The women playing five sets would put all this nonsense to rest.
I doubt it people would just then complain about the quality of the 5-sets. This all came about because of a lop-sided final and Safina crapiness. If Safina lost 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 there would be the same complaints.
 
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