The decision is coming from inside the home. Final evening, the French Open’s first ever feminine director and former No. 1 participant Amélie Mauresmo instructed the press that males’s tennis has “extra enchantment” than the ladies’s sport proper now, which was why 9 of the ten primetime evening periods have been scheduled for males’s matches. Solely a single evening featured a girls’s match, throughout which France’s Alizé Cornet defeated Jelena Ostapenko. And Mauresmo, in her first 12 months as the primary feminine director of the match, determined to inform the world that, as a former girls’s participant, she didn’t suppose that the ladies’s matches deserved prime billing.
That is such a disappointing sentiment to listen to from a former star who one would suppose would try and be lifting up and championing the ladies’s sport somewhat than tearing them down just because the Williams sisters aren’t on the courts for this match. Quite than assist develop curiosity in girls’s tennis, Mauresmo has now given voice and legitimacy to all of the trolls on the market who like to say that girls’s sports activities are, by nature, worse or extra boring or lower-standard than males’s sports activities.
As an alternative of a “who cares” or “no one watched” within the replies to an ESPN tweet about some girls’s sport or one other, there’s now a direct quotation on the prepared from a former feminine participant about how the ladies’s sport isn’t nearly as good as the boys’s, even when she simply meant it relating to this particular match.
Present No. 1 and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek said that she was disenchanted and shocked to listen to Mauresmo’s feedback, saying the ladies’s sport “may be one thing that’s actually interesting and it could actually entice extra folks.” To need to defend your sport and life’s work should be a really disheartening second.
And regardless that the most important of the massive names won’t be enjoying this week, how else is the game meant to develop and create new and upcoming stars if nobody is even given the possibility to show themselves on a widely-watched world stage? Final 12 months’s U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu was completely unknown within the tennis world earlier than her efficiency, however when everybody discovered her story and began following alongside, she grew to become a family title for followers of the game.
The match additionally featured upcoming American star Coco Gauff, who’s on the hunt for her first slam victory, Martina Trevisan, who returned to the game after a four-year hiatus through which she overcame anorexia, and, after all, Swiatek, who’s one win away from tying the longest profitable streak in girls’s tennis since 2000 after notching her thirty fourth win in a row right now. There’s some enchantment for you.
Mauresmo had loads of proficient girls’s gamers with fascinating and galvanizing narratives to select from, however I suppose it wasn’t thrilling sufficient to earn the prime-time slot. Whereas public curiosity drives these selections to an extent, it is usually the executives’ duty to pique and broaden public curiosity within the sport.
To essentially prime it off, Mauresmo was France’s captain within the Billie Jean King Cup after her retirement, named after the well-known participant and pioneer who fought tooth and nail to convey girls’s tennis into the skilled sports activities sphere. Bit ironic, no?