I’m a big fan of Maria Sharapova, and can’t help but reflect that since women who win the Wimbledon women’s title earn exactly the same as the men (although tickets much cost less, TV audiences are a fraction of the size…) and Maria has become phenomenally rich through the sport, she should be calling for women to play five sets, just as the men do – and at a much higher pace, without grunting every time they hit the ball. Not so. She’s calling for the men to play three sets rather than five. That’s gender equality in 2014.
The BBC report on the matter:
Victoria Azarenka suggested at last year’s WTA Championships in Istanbul that three-set matches would be “more interesting” and this must no longer be seen simply as a riposte to male players who believe women should play five sets to justify the equal prize money introduced at all the Grand Slams since 2007. The demands of the modern viewer and the attritional nature of many of the men’s hard-court matches mean this is no longer a purely hypothetical debate.
The International Tennis Federation told BBC Sport last year that it was actively considering reducing Davis Cup rubbers to the best of three sets in the early rounds of the competition.
Sharapova agreed to speak to the BBC to mark Saturday’s International Women’s Day.
Inspiring Change is the theme for 2014 and the WTA Tour is held up as an example to those who are being urged to challenge “the status quo for women’s equality”.