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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Missing Wimbledon
I don't much care for the way in which female players are Wimbledon are given titles (Miss Williams, etc), while the men are referred to simply by their surname. My mother, by contrast, finds it quaintly charming - but then she has much the same attitude to the monarchy. Admittedly, I might be reconciled to the practice if a professor - or even someone with a doctorate - made it to the finals. "Advantage, Professor Black" sounds kind of cool.

But also, why are women's matches only played over three sets, especially now they earn the same amount of prize money? I can see no good reason for this. "It's because women have less stamina," suggested my mother - but is there any evidence for that? Women's marathons aren't run over 15 miles. Women's football isn't played over 60 minutes. Why should only tennis players get these foreshortened matches?

In other news, I invite you to imagine a version of The Fly in which, instead of Jeff Goldblum and an insect, a cartoon dog is spliced with a nineteenth-century engineer.


a cartoon dog is spliced with a nineteenth-century engineer.


Bristol is all over Gromits at the moment.

Bristol is all over Gromits at the moment.

So I've seen!

Cool! I must look out for that one.

Why? Good old sexism combined with patriarchy of which Wimblers is a bastion.

Well, this is true.

I thought the evidence pointed to women having more stamina than men.

Yes, I thought I'd heard that too, though I wasn't certain.

It's actually the other way round -- in most tournaments both sexes play to 3 sets. The men play 5 sets in grand slams. I'm not sure why (possibly something to do with spectacle, originally?). It's being suggested regularly now that the 5 set matches be shortened as technological changes and changes in technique mean that the game now has a much harder impact on the whole body and injury levels are rising as a result.

It's still difficult to justify the discrepancy, though, or to understand why what's seen as spectacular when done by men would be undesirable in a match between women.

My guess it that originally it was down to women being seen as the 'weaker' sex, combined with thoughts about audience value. Later on, it was used to justify the differences in prize money, but I believe it precedes it. But three sets for both sexes is more sensible.
It's now 'tradition' and that is hard to change, alas.

I would like tennis (for both sexes) to take a leaf out of snooker's book, and play matches over one set in the early rounds, rising through three in the middle stages, to five in the semi-final and final.

That's a rather appealing thought.

I think they should cut it down to 3 sets for men's -- honestly think djokovic could've played better if not for his epic 5 setter with del potro (THOUGH STILL V HAPPY MURRAY WON).