Friday 30 September 2016

Smashing their way to a very strange equality...

Published 05/07/2015 | 02:30

Novak Djokovic on his way to victory at Wimbledon over Philipp Kohlschreiber
Novak Djokovic on his way to victory at Wimbledon over Philipp Kohlschreiber

For tennis fans, today marks the greatest week of the year - the business end of Wimbledon.

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But many fans won't be tuning in to many of the women's matches this year.

I reckon most people believe in equal pay for equal work, yet the women's game at the Grand Slam level is ridiculously remunerated.

Most regular tournaments see both sexes play the best of three sets, so it is only proper that both sexes are paid equally. But when it comes to Grand Slams, men play the best of five, while women still play the best of three - yet the winners of their respective event will both receive £1.88m.

This is despite the fact that if both winners were to sail through the tournament, winning each match in straight sets (a feat more likely in the women's game than the men's), then the man would have played 21 sets, and the female champion only 17.

There's no point in even getting into all the reasons why the women's game isn't as good as their male counterparts. There's no point in mentioning the grunting, which has reached such ridiculous decibel levels that half the matches sound like an overenthusiastic porn movie.

There's no point in mentioning the fact that last year's winner, Petra Kvitova won the final in 55 minutes, while Novak Djokovic needed three hours and 56 minutes to dispatch Federer in five.

But there is a point in mentioning the fact that this year sees the female players offered a 'heat break' if the court temperature exceeds 30.1°C - but the men don't have the same facility.

Is that equality? Because it doesn't seem very equal.

Of course, only a sexist would say that...

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