Women’s tennis is better theater than other women’s sports

Women’s tennis is always full of characters

and great players

I’m enjoying Wimbledon

I’ve tried to be a good and open minded liberal since I could speak. To keep my liberal cred with liberal women I’ve tried many times over the years to become a fan of women’s sports.  Sadly, other than women’s tennis, I just can’t.

women's tennis wimbledon 2011Maria Sharapova – Grace, beauty and skill

It’s not a sex appeal or titillation thing. A professional female athlete doesn’t need to be a super model and wear short skirts or tight shorts to attract attention if she has talent. Several ladies on the LPGA Tour wear some hot outfits and nobody watches. I liked watching Annika Sorenstam play golf cause she was a great golfer. Not cause she was pretty. Other than her, Paula Creamer (who I can name because she was on a bunch of commercials touting the Women’s U.S. Open today) Michelle Wie and Babe Didrikson, I’d be hard pressed to name five more female golfers.

Not since the great Babe Didrikson has women’s golf had a story I thought was compelling.  People came out to watch Babe because she was a great athlete and entertainer. A great personality.  Michelle Wie had the chance to be the next great player and personality but for whatever reason she hasn’t got there. Too bad for women’s golf. It needs help.

The only women’s basketball player I could name is Rebecca Lobo. I wouldn’t recognize a picture of her but a name like Lobo you just don’t forget.
The only other women’s sport I can name anyone from is women’s soccer.  Everyone knows Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain. But if they hadn’t won the World Cup and Brandi hadn’t ripped off her shirt when she hit the winning penalty kick, I probably couldn’t  have named them either.
 

Women’s tennis and Wimbledon

But I really dig women’s tennis. It has the personalities and athletes of all type. The power of the Williams Sisters or Martina Navratilova. The grace of Chris Evert or Monica Hingis. The grunts of Monica Seles (who think invented the grunt and has yet to be properly honored for it) and Maria Sharapova. I could go on about this all day. Not because of the outfits either. At my age these girls are girls. Maybe it’s a trait of growing older but a woman who’s much under 35 just looks like a child to me.  I just think women’s tennis offers all we could ask for in a sport.

Wimbledon is an exciting time for me. Two weeks of tennis on ESPN. There has been some great tennis on both sides, but in the end, the women are more interesting. Nadal and Federer will play in the men’s final like they always do. And frankly, they’re both boring. I’m far more interested in the women’s side. The Williams sisters have been knocked out. Serena just had too long a layoff from her foot injury to make a real run through some real good players to win. The lady that beat her got beat by a German chick who hit the ball like Babe Ruth. Forgot her name but I think she’ll win because Sharapova has had a bad habit of messing up semi finals by hitting too many unforced errors and double faults.

The women’s number one seed, Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out already. I felt bad cause I thought a match between a softer hitting player like her against a big hitter like Sharapova would be entertaining. But that’s Wozniacki’s weakness. She just doesn’t hit it as hard as many of the other women.  Like any professional sport, you gotta hit it big.

So I’ll be glued to the TV watching women’s tennis the rest of the week. Too bad the Williams sisters or Maria Sharapova don’t play golf.  I’d be watching the Women’s U.S. Golf open too.

women's tennis 2011 champions
Great Champions – Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert


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Posted by on June 29, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Responses to Women’s tennis is better theater than other women’s sports

  1. Holte Ender

    June 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    You are right about the women’s tennis circuit, I could name great players going back many years. Couldn’t do that with any other sport, not yet anyway. One thing I would like to see in major tennis championships, is for them to play best-of-five sets. Originally, the three set game was to protect these frail creatures from over exertion, which is BS. The women’s marathon is the same 26 miles the men run, women don’t need protection from the rules-makers. A five-set final would have given us some different champions over the years.

  2. Joe Hagstrom

    June 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I agree. Fitness should be rewarded.