Sorry for the no blogging but there has not been a lot to talk about in terms of women’s tennis on tv, except the lack of women’s tennis being shown on my tv.
This week we have the Mutua Madrilena Premier Mandatory 5 and Masters Series combined event happening in Madrid, Spain. This event started with main draw play on Sunday, yet up to the time of writing this, unless you are an obsessed fan of women’s tennis, the only coverage that you will see is that being shown on your computer screen.
We have had Grand Slam champions, former No.1s, current No. 1s and a whole slew of up and coming stars playing this tournament on the women’s side and to date, not one match for the women has been shown on the women’s side. NOT A SINGLE MATCH.
I refuse to watch this tournament. I have Tennis Channel at home, but I refuse to watch a tournament that is supposed to be a combined tournament and the women are never shown until those in authority deem it worthwhile to show women’s tennis. If Tennis Channel or any other entity has a problem in obtaining rights to the women’s matches, then the WTA needs to ensure that a sit down is done with Tennis Channel to ensure that women’s tennis at least gets some form of tv time in these events.
We have a slew of combined events coming up during the rest of the season. Rome is next week, then when the Tour returns to North America, there will be Toronto and Montreal, then Cincinnati and then the Asian swing. Are you going to tell me that this is what fans of women’s tennis will have to put up with? We will be seeing a whole slew of mediocre male players grunting their way to a victory or a loss while the scores for the women are scrolled at the bottom of the screen, or fans have to rely on tennis fans in Europe or bloggers on the ground tweeting about what is happening?
This just cannot continue and the WTA must see that the women’s tour is getting the shaft in this situation.
As I write this, Caroline Wozniacki is heading to a third set with Julia Georges. Most fans will recall the awesome match that these 2 women played recently in Stuttgart and this one from the looks of it has been a good one so far. At the same time as this is happening Tennis Channel was airing Fit to Hit when I last checked the schedule and I ensured that I checked Tennis Channel before changing the channel to ensure that I got it right.
Women's tennis is being given short thrift these days by commentators who are quickly selling the view that women's tennis is boring. The NO. 1 player is boring. Her game is boring and that all the women have no variety and are not worth watching. We even have former champions of the game pouring cold water on women's tennis and bemoaning the lack of rivalries etc. and comparing it to the 1990s. I disagree with all of this, but that will be a post for another time.
The women's game if many took the time to watch it instead of complaining about being bored, and about grunting (which happens on both Tours by the way), should talk about why is it that it is the women who are using all forms of social media to promote the sport? Why it is that it is the female players who are bringing a level of enthusiasm to the sport and why it is that there are more female personalities that fans can now identify with who are moving the sport forward.
Many fans of tennis do not even bother to watch tennis during clay season especially on the men's side because there is usually only one winner of all the events. Going into Roland Garros with the absence of some of the potential favourites for that major, there is uncertainty as to who will walk away with the trophy on the women's side. The potential for upsets and great news stories abound in women's tennis. We cannot say the same for the men's game.
Sport is supposed to make us root for the underdog. Sport should bring a level of uncertainty which makes our hearts pound and our mouths water. As it is right now the women's game brings this. Why is this not being promoted?