Where are the Women?
by Sean Randall | August 13th, 2006, 11:41 pm

Well…I’m back from my last vacation of the year, or at least the last of the summer, and it’s catch-up time in the tennis world. Fortunately I had a cable TV handy, unfortunately I had to endure that fill-in Sean guy on ESPN.

As it was a vacation, I saw several other people vacationing also. Namely WTA stars like Justin Henin, Amelie Mauresmo, Venus Williams, etc. Okay, I didn’t see them but I get the feeling that they along with a few others are enjoying their rest based on all the pulls from Montreal the past few days.ADHEREL

Boy, think you are having a bad day imagine the tournament director for Montreal. Geez. You have the biggest hard court women’s event of the summer and only Kim, a bunch of Russians, Nicole and Martina show up. No Maria, no Venus, no Serena, no Amelie, no Justine. That’s tough. What’s the point in putting up all that dough – 1.34 million of it – and getting that tier 1 status when for half that you can get Maria and Serena like they did in Los Angeles this past week.

Yeah, I get the argument they are all really injured, blah, blah. But really, if my event is paying twice the prize money as a competing event and we are on the same continent I should get the players? Right? Wrong. Not in the screwed up tennis world where Maria can pass on Montreal because the nice folks in L.A. dumped a few extra “K” in her pocket in addition to her take home prize. And since there’s no penalty – outside of a cosmetic ranking one and maybe a minor fine – there’s no real incentive for Maria to go play Montreal.

I guess props to the top gals who’ve figured out that they really only need to play the Slams and a few other events. Or maybe they really are injured, or they didn’t want to deal with the on-court coaching crap that ESPN and the WTA cooked up for Montreal. Who knows, guess no Yuri on court.

Back to reality.

Roger Federer looked a bit human this week in Toronto in needing back-to-back-to-back-to-back three setters to win the title, the 40th of his career in his 17th straight final. Strange when you think about it but 25 of Roger’s last 28 matches have gone at least three sets. There’s a catch, but it’s true!Anyone remember the last time Sir Roger lost a straight set match? How about Gustavo Kuerten at the French in 2004. That’s a long time.

The win was also Fed 54th straight in North America, and bumped his career earnings over the $25 million dollar mark, which put him just a mil shy of what the New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez made last year alone. (Sorry to bring that up Roger, if you are reading this. You da man!)

Richard Gasquet showed his goods and talent, and will parlay this effort this week into a seeding at the Open, which one day could be a title of his. (not this year, one day)

Hard to believe when you look at the rankings guys like Ivan Ljubicic, Tommy Robredo, James Blake, Radek Stepanek and Nikolay Davydenko are solidly in the Top 10.

Brad Gilbert deserves some love. BG is an incredible three-for-three in leading his pupil to the final in the first event of their partnerships. Really quite amazing. Granted it’s not like he coaching Leos Friedl but still to get Andre to the Key Biscayne final, Roddick to the Queen’s title and then Murray to the D.C. championship match in their first collaboration is pretty impressive. Now let’s see if he can get Murray to the World No. 1 ranking like he did the other A’s. Doubt that’s happening…

The ATP has a new pick-a-winner tournament game. It’s about time someone did this. Basically you win a mill if you get correctly pick all 63 matches in the Cincy draw which begins Monday. Good luck. I think I have a better chance of winning the US Open without losing a set than that happening, and I think according to the odds I do. The winner – which will be no one I guarantee it –would get a whopping 25K paid to him or her each year for the next 40 years. That doesn’t exactly elevate you to millionaire status. Now here in the U.S. after taxes that would probably be around 15K or so, depending on your tax bracket. Let’s be honest an extra 15K in my pocket is great and by all means I would take it, but I’m not buying a new house or a fancy car!

The odds are something – and correct me all you match geeks if I’m wrong – like 2 to the 63rd (2^63) or 9,223,372,036,854,776,000 or 9 billion billion. That’s a lot. Something tells me the ATP and Penn knew that number when they put the jack down. Anyway, hope one of ya can win it. If not, maybe me.

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6 Comments for Where are the Women?

JDC Says:

1 in 9,223,372,036,854,776,000 … aren’t those the same odds as scoring a threesome with Sharapova and Hantuchova in the locker room before a match?

gabos Says:

i’ll take those odds… :-)

actually i think the 2^n probability only applies if each of n has an equally random chance of selection. Although I guess this is hypothetically true (on any given sunday…), I think the oddsmakers would give, say, federer a better than equal chance against, say, srichapan.

Although with the draw the way it is, it does look primed for potential upsets.

BluBarry Says:

1st I’d like to say that I totally agree with your accessment of the money incentives given to these Players. Maria has made it abundantly clear that she’s in it for the money. As oppossed to Martina Hingis who generally loves the sport. Maria is, In my opinion, an under-achiever. She is making her cash due to her (looks ???) So far my friends, she is a one slam wonder and we have many of those. In the meantime, others are catching up to her ability and soon Maria may no longer be considered a Contender in the way she has before.

As for Roger, give him a little slack since these was his first event since Wimbledon and even with Gasguet’s fantastic playing, still couldn’t put Roger down once Roger got his feet working. I’m convinced, he’s destined for greater accommplishments. Unlike Sampras, if someone could win all four Slams in a calendar year, Fed-X is the guy once he learns to expose Nadal’s forehand a littel more.

I like your writing .. you write from the heart and it makes one feel they are experiencing the events along side you.

BluBarry Says:

??? How can one edit their comment or make spelling corrections ?

j wingo Says:

It’s about time somebody took the players to task about pulling out of tournaments – for whatever the reason! These “children” make entirely too much money to continue to whine and complain like they do on and off the courts about the being tired, about being injured, about the season being too long, about it being too hot on the court, about whatever. So what if the season is 11 months or something like it? With the money they make they need to just shut up, show up and play. These “children” make more in one match than most of us make in a year. As a tennis fan, I don’t want to hear their griping and whining. It’s annoying to hear of a player pulling out of a tournament last minute because of “fatigue” or even a minor injury. I mean, please!!! Those of us in the real world get up and go to work and make our minimum wages or even mid-income salaries feeling tired, sick, injured – whatever – we go to work and get the job done!! I’m getting bored by women’s tennis. The top players don’t care enough about the game to get in shape, stay in shape so that they don’t get these “injuries” and are in top form tournament after tournament – so why should I spend my precious time watching them? I wouldn’t spend one dime on a ticket to see one of their matches in person. I watch on TV because I can flip channels in between “injury time outs” and slovenly playing. One final note: so the women want equal pay right? Gimme a break. The way they are playing, they don’t deserve the pay they get now let alone even thinking about demanding the pay the men get. I mean, let’s be clear – men can play three to five matches. Women play three matches tops per tournament. What’e equal about that? I say let them all – from the top ten to the bottom 100 spend a day teaching school and then collect a teacher’s salary or let them work at McDonald’s and collect that week’s pay. That will make them think twice about whining about having to play in yet another tournament that pays a year’s salary for a couple of hours work. Give us all a break – tennis players – and grow up. Don’t take us fans for granted. We’re getting tired ourselves and when we do, we might just move on to another sport that is more envigorating to watch. Somebody in position to do so, please give the tennis players this message. Let them know that without us, there would be no tennis tournament – just two or four people out on the court hitting a ball back and forth. Somebody let the sponsors know that there are bigger and better places to spend their big time money than on tournaments granting multi-million dollar prizes to “baby tennis players” who take their dollars for granted and who don’t need the money any way. Tell them that. Somebody please tell them.

Christiana Says:

I think also that the women need to just shut up! and play tne season.

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