Why is there a place for the only women’s sport at the top?
We’re now heading to the final weekend of the French Open, a showcase for two suspenseful solo finals. There will be two players who are ready to take part in a long battle for the dominance of women’s tennis in the women’s championship match in Paris.
Iga Swiat, the 21-year-old Polish champion who won this tournament in 2020, plays in clean and cut tennis, which is on the verge of winning 35 games in a row.
The 18-year-old Coco Gauff, an effervescent prodigy who is not a prodigy, will be on his way. Making the final of a major tournament, bold and unforgiving, seals Gauff as a lasting and remarkable force.
Gauff and Swiat are betting on history on Saturday. The match for the men’s final is yet to be decided, but it will be played on Sunday. Both games are expected to attract a lot of public attention and almost the same, but women’s tennis still has to fight for the right foot. Over the last two weeks we have seen Roland Garros reopen in the red clay (more on that later). However, professional tennis sets a level of popularity and viability in women’s sports, and is not even close.
Thanks to the fight for fairness led by legends like Althea Gibson, Williams sisters and Billie Jean King, women’s professional games are constantly played in front of a crowded and enraged audience. Their finals often attract more spectators than men at notable events. Off the court, the main players are protection and the gold of social media. In four Grand Slam Championships, they have been winning the same prizes since 2007. Gauff or Swiat will go for a whopping $ 2.4 million.
All major tennis tournaments offer the opportunity to ask why other women’s sports don’t have the same level of success.
Professional golf is the closest thing to it, but it doesn’t. Not even high-level football.
Despite the recent guarantee of equal pay rates for men’s and women’s teams in the United States, the women’s game is not only in the shadows but not in the World Cup.
When the Olympics come, there is a growing interest in sports such as gymnastics, swimming and skiing, but when the Olympics are over, it always disappears.
The popularity of women’s basketball is on the rise, especially at the college level. However, on a professional level, it seems that the fight for respect will last for many years. Last week, when I wrote a column about a former star of a college college team struggling to fulfill his dream of joining a WNBA team, the answers were commonplace.
Women’s basketball, said one reader, “is just a big yawn.” An old acquaintance called for a standard line: “Women can’t cut, so I don’t see it.”
The idea that female athletes should behave like men does not make sense. We should both be able to enjoy and value their merits. Tennis is the best example. Women tennis players don’t play with the power of top professional men. They don’t play with the same number of head-turning turns. They don’t run so fast. On top and in the two-handed back jumps, they don’t go up so much.
And yet, the women’s tour holds its own.
Why can’t other sports?
There is no simple answer to the dominance of tennis.
The fact that men and women share the glory at Wimbledon and the French, US and Australian Open certainly adds standing and shine to the women’s game.
We still live in a world that is struggling to accept the strong and powerful women who break the mold. Take the WNBA, which is equipped with women’s pronunciation, most of whom are black, who have shown a willingness to take LGBTQ rights, freedom of reproduction, and aggressive attitudes. politics. How do you think it goes down in many corners of America and the world?
Yes, tennis often has some sharp players who are willing to publicly oppose it. In the modern age of gaming, Venus and Serena Williams have only shown and dominated. Naomi Osaka broke the rules with a face mask in protest of Black rights. But most women in tennis wear their significant powers in silence, behind the scenes, and in a way that doesn’t upset the male-dominated status quo too much. It would be foolish to think that this is not a factor in the popularity of pro tour.
Men, of course, formed their biggest leagues a few decades before the age of women’s empowerment. Major League Baseball continues until 1876. NFL until the 1920s. The NWSL, for comparison, was formed in 2012, and the WNBA in 1997. Over the decades, men have absorbed all the oxygen, and worshiped the stars of the greatest professional sports. icons. Television and radio gilded their games: Willie Mays ’miraculous catch in the midfield at the 1954 World Series; Johnny Unitas led the Baltimore Colts against the Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship; Boston Celtics spokesman Johnny Most shouted, “Havlic stole the ball!” In 1965.
Through the enduring power of radio and television, these moments and many other moments of greatness were etched forever in the memory. They did not include women.
Time changes everything, but slowly.
The 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” – King Bobby Riggs against the macho windbag – set a new and enduring tone. Their match drew 90 million viewers, making it one of the most watched sports shows ever since, and helped launch women’s tennis to an unthinkable height at one time.
But sparring doesn’t end there. For the past two weeks at the French Open, organizers have held nightly sessions that they described as a day match. Ten were played. There was only one women’s match.
Talk about complicated. Controversy arose over the schedule, with all the people saying that tournament director Amélie Mauresmo and the former senior player had set the night schedule because the men’s match was more “attractive” than the women’s right now.
So that means that Swiat, the first qualifier and past champion of Paris with a monumental wave of victories, was not quite attractive. Gauff was not attractive enough. The same goes for the four-time Osaka Grand Champion, or last year’s US Open charismatic young and charismatic finalists Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu. No one took the clay at night.
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Women’s tennis players and power brokers should always be vigilant, but they have a significant advantage: their controversies, fights to be taken seriously, and tournament matches unfold on the biggest stages in front of the world’s gaze.
But why should there be only women’s tennis?