24 March, 2016. 11:35
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Following world No.1 Novak Djokovic’s controversial comments that suggested female players should be thankful to their male counterparts “because they ride on the coattails of the men” – tennis organisers have announced a compromise that will further scale down the female competition during major tournaments.
The move has been praised by tennis enthusiasts around the world, who say that the court size in female tennis matches should be inline with the player salaries as well as the amount of sets they actually play.
“This was a no-brainer” says ITF President, David Haggerty.
“The women have always played shorter matches, It’s silly to think they should have to play on men’s sized courts as well,”
“It’s going to help us speed through the women’s events to get to the more explosive men’s matches.”
However, as expected, this move has drawn criticisms from activists around the world, who say that women’s tennis should be treated the same as their male counterparts.
Women’s studies professor, Ingrid Doulton AO says she isn’t over engaged in the world of sport, but knows that female tennis players definitely have something to complain about.
“The courts will soon be proportionate to the amount of money female tennis players earn,”
Mrs Doulton has been a big supporter of female athletes being treated the same as male athletes for some time.
As outlined in her 2014 manifesto “Why Men Are Ruining Women’s Sport” – Doulton argues that the fact that women’s sport isn’t as entertaining as men’s should not be taken into account when discussing revenue and subsequent pay grade.
“The last thing we want is for these athletes to end up wearing lingerie, like they’ve had to in the world of MMA and American Football,”
“So what, if they don’t play 5 sets, they are still professional – which means they should be paid the same, if not more, than Djokovic and the like,”
However, the ITF have insisted that this argument doesn’t make sense from a logical and business perspective.
“Of course we aren’t going to pay women, who play three sets, the same as men who play five sets,”
“Believe me, we’ve tried to make this work. We did in fact entertain the idea of a lingerie tournament to keep the fans engaged… But the players weren’t keen. Our only option is to make the matches faster.”