Billie Jean Kings call for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed over her derogatory LBGT remarks left Australian Open organisers red-faced for the second day in a row
The Australian Open was plunged into a second controversy in 24 hours when Billie Jean King declared on Friday she could not support the continued naming of Margaret Court Arena after the nation’s best player because of her “derogatory” statements about the LBGT community.
On Thursday, the tournament director, Craig Tiley, was forced to defend the decision to invite Maria Sharapova to share the podium with the men’s champion, Roger Federer, at the televised describe rite, even though she has served 15 months for failing a drugs exam here two years ago.
He argued that in the absence of the women’s champ, Serena Williams, it was appropriate to have a former title-holder in Sharapova step in for her- on the 10 th anniversary of winning the title.
That generated a minor stir locally, and there was more to come on Friday.
King, who announced she was a lesbian at 51, was responding to a New York Times story in which Martina Navratilova- another player who has pioneered homosexual rights since proclaiming her own sexuality several years ago- criticised Court for her stance.
Navratilova said she would refuse to play on Margaret Court Arena if she was still playing, and King agreed as she was being honoured at a press conference when she was named the Australian Open woman of the year.
” She won 24 grand slams, more than anyone else ,” King said of Court, who announced last month she would not attend this year’s tournament.” Rocket[ Rod Laver] got the Arena, and people said,’ What are you going to do for Margaret ?’
” I don’t know. I think it’s really important if you’re going to have a name on anything that you’re hospitable, you’re inclusive, that you open your limbs to everyone who comes to a public facility.
” I was fine until lately when she said so many derogatory things about my community, about the LBGT. That truly ran deep in my heart and soul. If I was part of voting- which I’m not; it’s really up to the people of Australia- I would[ referendum to change it ].
” I personally don’t think she should have[ her name on it] anymore. I think if you were talking about indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can’t imagine the public would want someone[ such as Court] to have her name on something like that.
Grigor Dimitrov won the ATP World Tour Finals title by beating David Goffin in three defines, a victroy which will move him up to world No3
Against the high expectations of the doubters two free-hitting, first-time finalists, each trusting his abilities to breaking point, devoted a remarkable season the denouement it deserved on a cold midwinter’s evening by the Thames. Grigor Dimitrov won but David Goffin did not leave a loser.
For extended passageways of the choosing match of the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals they brought freshness and daring to a task that has historically been fulfilled by more illustrious rivals. After two and a half hours of often tense, high-grade tennis- the longest final since John McEnroe defeated Arthur Ashe at Madison Square Garden in 1978- Dimitrov, Bulgaria’s first representative at this end-of-year event, predominated 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
It was his fourth title of the year, adding $2,549, 000 to the$ 3m he had already gathered from 44 match wins, and 1,500 ranking points to lift him three places to No3 in the world. At last the results and the performance have matched the glamour. If Dimitrov can sustain his run in Melbourne in January the Bulgarian and his trainer, Dani Vallverdu, for so long at Andy Murray’s side- can expect a season of much fruitfulness.
A tearful Goffin – who represents Belgium against France in the Davis Cup final later this week – said afterwards:” It was a special week for me, a lot of emotions, a lot of wearines. It was tough. It was not easy to come back after losing to Grigor in the group. Congratulations to Grigor for a fantastic year .”
Dimitrov reciprocated, adding,” It’s such an honour to play here. This has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had. Unbelievable endeavour by David and I wish him the best in the Davis Cup .”
Some guessed the deviation of Roger Federer( beaten on Saturday by Goffin ), Rafael Nadal( defeated by Goffin four days previously ), and the is a lack of Andy Murray( beaten by his unreliable knee) along with the Tour’s other walking wounded had ripped the heart out of this tournament, an event in its ninth year at the venue, with three more to come, under the new sponsorship of Nitto.
However, there have been six sell-out conferences of 17,800, including the final, and 13 of 15 matches described more than 16,000. The lowest attendance was 15,193 on Tuesday afternoon for the match between Jack Sock and Marin Cilic, but the tournament total of 253,642- just ahead of last year, if short of the 2012 record of 263,229- the year London went Olympics crazy. There are tournament directors around the world in all sorts of athletics who would die happy persuading more than a quarter of a million fans to watch their product.The start was riddled with nerves on both sides of the net, neither player able to hold serve until the 19 th minute as they tentatively investigated all the safe options before opening their shoulders.
Consecutive hotshots by Goffin secured the first hold of the match and there was a restlessness in the capacity mob, who were waiting for caviar and were having to make do with fish fingers. The menu was about to change.
Both humen were going for their shoots, and Dimitrov transgressed to level in the eighth game as the level of the exchanges grew in quality and duration, although Goffin’s overcooked forehand betrayed persisting uncertainty under pressure. At last the arena was warming to the contest and the combatants responded.
Goffin, the first Belgian since doubles specialist Dick Norman in 2010 to reach this tournament, was get in and out of difficulty like a frog in a hot tub. He quivered again with ball in hand in the 12 th game, but it took Dimitrov five defined points to cracking his resolve and take the frame in only under an hour, forcing a sixth unforced fault from him on the backhand.
Just as Dimitrov looked to be pulling away, Goffin broke for a third time in the second defined. A rare double net-cord off his deep backhand that dribbled over, and a ridiculously brilliant half-volley off his toes in the 10 th game helped Dimitrov to keep the set alive. There was little he could do, though, to stop the Belgian holding to love and level the match at one defined each.
It took Dimitrov 11 minutes to hold in the early stages of the third- about the same period it took him to seal the first- so there was no absence of commitment under fire. Goffin’s serve was discrepancies between then- “hes lost” only five first serves in virtually two hours, a crushing 87 per cent- so Dimitrov had to find his crumb elsewhere, and he did in the sixth game where reference is pushed Goffin deep and watched his backhand float wide for the break.
In the penultimate game Dimitrov lobbed then passed Goffin, who saved three match point, held then turned to the crowd to conduct them in their thunder of support. Dimitrov sweated heavily as he set about serving out for the biggest win of his career, grateful for two tired groundstrokes by Goffin. Handed his fifth match point, he saw a forehand inch long. And how grateful he was when Goffin dumped a simple backhand into the net. The mob dedicated both of them an ovation every bit as loud as if Federer had won another title here.
The tennis champs lifelong fight for equality and freedom is celebrated in a new cinema about the Battle of the Sexes. She talks about not being comfy in her own scalp until she was 51, and why millennials give her hope
In 1955, when she was 12 years old, Billie Jean King says she had an epiphany.” I was daydreaming about my little tiny universe of tennis, and I thought to myself:’ Everybody’s wearing white shoes, white socks, white clothes, playing with white balls, everybody who plays is white. Where is everybody else ?'” she recollects.” That was the moment I decided to fight for equality and freedom and equal rights and opportunities for everyone. Everyone. Not merely daughters. Everyone .”
Now, 62 years later, the most sensational moment of her long, boundary-smashing tennis career has been turned into a cinema. Directed by Little Miss Sunshine’s Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes tells of the run-up to that infamous high-stakes 1973 match between King( Emma Stone) and the showboating, self-confessed “male chauvinist pig” Bobby Riggs( Steve Carell ), in front of 30, 000 live spectators and a colossal Superbowl-sized TV audience. But those expecting a straightforward sports movie may be surprised by its intimacy, as it draws a parallel between the weight of having to prove the worth of all female athletes in that one match, and the distress of hiding a secret affair with her female hairdresser from both her husband Larry and the world.
When meeting King, it is obvious why she has been at the vanguard of so much change, having dedicated much of her life to the fight for equality. When the men’s tour refused to address women’s concerns over pay inequality, King violated away to be established a women’s tour, with each of the” Original Nine” players signing a symbolic$ 1 contract( it is a barnstorming moment in the film, although the timeline has been loosened somewhat to fit dramatic demands ). Shortly afterwards, she founded the Women’s Tennis Association. But when President Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 2009, he praised” all the off-the-court stuff- what she did to broaden the reach of video games, to change how women athletes and women everywhere view themselves, and to give everyone, regardless of gender or sex orientation- including my two daughters- a chance to compete both on the court and in life .”
The world No1 Rafael Nadal beat Kevin Anderson in the US Open final to clinch his second grand slam title of 2017 and the 16 th of his career
When Rafael Nadal said early in this tournament he was not looking forward to his next birthday, it was tempting to assume the finishing line in his career might be nearer than he cared to contemplate. In the final of the 2017 US Open on Sunday, the Peter Pan of tennis chuckled at time in more styles than one, playing with the ricochetting zest of his youth to breeze past Kevin Anderson in two hours and 27 minutes for his third title here and the 16 th slam of his long career.
Afterwards Nadal said:” It has been a very special two weeks for me, but congratulations to Kevin. He’s a great example to a lot of children, had a lot of tough traumata. Personally, it’s unbelievable what’s happened to me after a couple of years of traumata, playing not so good. But I’ve been playing a high level of tennis and the crowd here brings me to a higher level of energy .”
He also thanked his uncle Toni, who was watching his last slam with him as coach-and-four.” Without him I would never be playing tennis. It is great I had person like him pushing me all the time. He had great motivation to practise with me since I was a kid. He is for sure one of the most important people in my life .”
Anderson said:” Getting to my first grand slam final, there’s been a lot of feelings for me. I’ll keep working hard. I’ll be back .”
Nadal’s 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win was his fourth in a New York final and his fifth win over Anderson, the sort of shut-out mastery Roger Federer has imposed on other players over the years, and which the Swiss confirmed here before losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterss. That defeat cost New York fans a Nadal-Federer semi-final. At least bits of the old empire remained in place, despite recent upheavals.
The big four of Nadal, Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic had won 45 of the previous 50 slams between them, with only Stan Wawrinka, Del Potro and Marin Cilic intruding on their dominance. But Anderson could not be denied his opportunity. He out-hit Sam Querrey in the semis and has decided to stimulate the most of his big day- except the world No1, 18 days younger than him, was not about to co-operate.
Anderson’s big serve pinned Nadal deep, close to 10 metres behind the baseline at times, but he was palpably comfy there. And, almost from the first exchange, the deadening pattern of struggle on one side of the net and urgency on the other began to emerge.
When Anderson tried to serve and volley for simply the 20 th time in the tournament, Nadal passed him for breaking phase, and it took a third superstar, swinging broad, to help him stave off three break points in the third game, which lasted 12 minutes. Nadal held to love in a twinkling.
A third double fault get Anderson into more difficulty in the fifth game, but again the amiable trier his friends call” The Dog” clung on like a terrier. In the first half hour, he had not had a look at Nadal’s serve and had to save four break points. It was desperate stuff. Twice in the seventh game, the spare ball popped out of Anderson’s pocket and he recognise the chair umpire’s warning that a third infraction would cost him the point. It was the sort of distraction that can disrupt a player’s focus, and a fourth double defect handed Nadal a fifth infringe opportunity. This time Anderson cracked, pushing a forehand wide.
Within 10 minutes, the first define was Nadal’s. Anderson’s challenge in the biggest match of his life was to stop a steady drip turning into a full-scale leak. They had known each other since they were 12- not unlike Murray and Djokovic, although the rivalry was way less competitive. Murray has won two of his three slams against the Serb; Anderson has won just one set of 12 in five matches against Nadal.
While Nadal was now rushing through the points, Anderson tried to slow the narrative, like a condemned man asking for a final piece of tart. Behind in the serve cycle, the pressure mounted. When Nadal violated to go 4-2 up in the second, there was a chilling inevitability about the rest of the match. The mob had fallen into near slumber. Nadal was winning not only the points he fashioned himself, but those he was not expected to get, scampering after every half-chance and putting most of them away imperiously.
Anderson kept fighting but Nadal is a ruthless front-runner. He had only lost twice in his career from two sets up- to Fabio Fognini here and in Miami against Federer in the distant past- and history did not lie to him on Sunday.
Anderson’s big serve kept him vaguely competitive, but there was little he could do about the whipped forehand that gave Nadal the ninth game to love – his fourth to that phase- and the set.
Anderson’s resistance slowly morphed from heartfelt to token. The first decide had taken nearly an hour, the second 39 minutes, the third- despite Anderson’s first love hold to trail 3-2, a 10 th superstar to hold in the ninth game to build Nadal serve it out in the 10 th game, and a brave battle to his first deuce point on Nadal’s serve at the very end- lasted 50 minutes. Nadal won it with his 16 th volley.
While the other lions are sleeping- Murray probably for the rest of the year, Federer working on his distressed back, Djokovic and Wawrinka already out until the start of next season- Nadal, fit and strong again with his game in superb shape, will make a pushing that could further disturb the upper order of the game.
The next leg of the journey is the 2018 Australian Open, where he lost to Federer in the final this year.
If the Swiss does not repeat his extraordinary heroics there and Nadal prevails, he will be sitting on 17 majors, simply two behind Federer. If he wins his 11 th French Open in May, as he will be favoured to do, the gap will be a single title. They will then arrive at Wimbledon with even more to play for. Peter Pan, incidentally, will be 32 by then.
Juan Martin del Potro pulled off one of the great US Open comebacks against Dominic Thiem on Monday night
Juan Martin del Potro pulled off one of tennis’s most remarkable comebacks to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The 2009 champion has been struggling with illness and won only three games in the opening two sets against sixth seed Dominic Thiem. It seemed doubtful whether Del Potro would even be able to complete the match but he did much more than that.
The Argentinian raced through the third defined, saved two match point with superstars in the fourth and then clinched the fifth to win 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6( 7-1 ), 6-4. At his moment of victory, after HawkEye showed that Thiem had served a doubled faulting, Del Potro stood with head back and limbs aloft as his legions of supporters on Grandstand roared.
On-court interviewer Pam Shriver had to wait for the’ Ole’ chants to die down before posing the question of just how he was able to win the match.” Oh my God ,” said the 22 nd seed.” I don’t know what can I tell after this big combat. I was sick the last two days. I came here trying to play as well as I can. When I assured all of this mob cheering for me, my illness cleared up. I was trying to feel better every game. I fight like this because of you guys .”
Del Potro must now try to recover for a quarter-final meeting with Roger Federer, who he beat to win his only grand slam title eight years ago. The Swiss beat Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 later on Monday.
” I would like to have the trophy after these five matches ,” said Del Potro with a smile.” I’m so happy to go through after playing this great match. I enjoyed it a lot. I think it’s enough for me but maybe I have the chance to play Roger again, which is special for me, and I would like to play my best tennis .”
Del Potro appeared exhausted at the start of the match and called for the doctor, who gave him some pills. They eventually seemed to kick in for the third set, when Del Potro detected his heavyweight punch of a forehand and began to land some blows on Thiem.
The Argentinian violated early in the fourth set but back came Thiem and, when he led 30 -0 serving for the match at 5-3, the comeback seemed over. But Del Potro threaded a backhand pass down the line to give himself hope and with that Thiem blew his chance, reaching two wild errors and a doubled flaw.
It was tough on the young Austrian, who must have felt as if he was playing an away Davis Cup tie, but he dug in and had two match points at 6-5 only for Del Potro to send down superstars. The 28 -year-old ran with his momentum in the tie-break, objective it with a forehand cross-court bullet that took the breath away.
Del Potro looked like he might have missed his opportunity when Thiem bravely saved three violate points at 3-3 but, serving to stay in the match, his resistance operated out. It was a tale of two HawkEye challenges; the one Thiem was unable to induce because he had run out on the penultimate phase when a forehand was called wide, and the one Del Potro successfully attained on Thiem’s second serve.
Sharapova played her third competition in a row on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night and defeated the American teen Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-2 to reaching the fourth round.
Asked about specific comments from Wozniacki, who was beaten in round two by Ekaterina Makarova, Sharapova told:” I don’t make the schedule.
” I’m a pretty big competitor. If you set me out in the parking lot of Queens in New York City, I’m happy to play there. That’s not what matters to me ,” she added.” All that matters to me is I’m in the fourth round. I’m not sure where she is .”
Both players, who trod the same route from Russia to Florida, entered the tournament through wild cards. Kenin had never won a grand slam match before this event and, unless she turns professional immediately, will have to forfeit her $144,000( PS110, 000) in prize money.
Kenin was outmatched physically but fought doggedly to stay with Sharapova and a slew of unforced mistakes from the Russian see her pegged back from 4-1 to 4-4.
As she had against Babos, Sharapova struggled to produce the free-swinging tennis that stunned Halep, but she played two fine points to clinch the opening set.
There was a blip in the second situate when Sharapova double-faulted to go from 3-0 to 3-2 but she then reeled off another three games to book her spot in the last 16.
The five-time grand slam champion next plays Anastasija Sevastova, the 16 th seed, and she knows she will need to improve if she is to go much further. She told:” There were just too many mistakes in the beginning of that match. Coming into this match playing two three-setters, I’m just happy I got it done in two. Devote my body a little bit of a transgres, I guess.
” I merely felt like I wasn’t hitting the ball that well in the beginning, but I got better as the match went on .”
The 22,547 -seat behemoths sizing means most fans are isolated from the action on tribunal. The once sparkling newcomer has become a loathsome dinosaur
Twenty years ago, Arthur Ashe Stadium opened as the centerpiece of the USTA’s National Tennis Center with a stirring dedication rite headlined by Whitney Houston. It’s been mostly downhill from there.
Aerial shootings of the US Open’s octagonally shaped main present court have become a signal of New York City glamor beamed round the world. But while the pictures may look attractive to the millions who will never get the chance to attend the season’s final grand slam in person, the real-life experience is anything but. Clumsy design, tepid atmosphere and just plain bad luck have all conspired to hasten Ashe’s life cycle from sparkling newcomer to loathsome dinosaur. Two decades on, it suffers as the worst major sports venue in America.
Any criticism of Ashe will start with the size of the thing. The 22,547 -seat behemoth is the largest purpose-built tennis stadium in the world- and it’s not especially close. The upper bleachers are thrust even further above the court by a ring of 90 luxury boxes, so high that standard etiquette is no longer enforced and spectators are permitted to roam freely between and even during phases. If you’re seated in the ominously designated Row Z in the upper promenade, situated a nosebleed-inducing 120 feet above the court, the match below is but a rumor.
Naturally, this incarnation of American excess was erected with a primary objective of printing money hand over fist and to that end it’s been wildly successful. The US Open constructs no secret of the enormous mob it attracts: more than 700,000 fans produce ticket revenue of over $100 m during the two-week tournament. But the fan experience at the principal prove tribunal, at the least for those in my taxation bracket, is as lousy as it gets for a major sporting event.
The worst maintained secret among Open regulars is there’s really no reason to set foot in Ashe unless you’re leave behind no other selection. That’s especially true during the first week. Since the tournament prioritizes the biggest names for Ashe over the best match-ups, the opening days offer a virtually uninterrupted string of one-sided matches played out before two-thirds-empty crowd- all while the outer courts are a blur of thrilling upsets, breakout performances and evenly matched marathons. Watching a top-5 0 player from 20 feet away is a far more rewarding experience than watching a top-fiver obliterate some qualifier from a distance where you can hardly heard the ball come off the racket.
Alexander Zverev kept his winning streak alive with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday
Alexander Zverev kept his winning streak alive with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday.
The 20 -year-old Zverev, the winner last week in Washington, posted a 10 th straight match victory and aimed the 36 -year-old Federers own winning streak at 16. The German also tied Federer with a fifth tournament victory this year, although Federers haul includes two major titles. Zverev also got even for a loss to Federer at Halle in June and leveled their career head-to-head record at two wins each.
Zverev used some sharp groundstrokes to keep Federer from taking control early and got the only service breaking he needed to win the first set. Zverev escaped a break phase at 1-0 in the second defined with consecutive hotshots, then transgressed a mistake-prone Federerfor a 4-3 result and served out the match.
Zverev, the youngest Rogers Cup finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2007, was coming off an emotional victory over Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals. Federer missed a chance to tie-in Ivan Lendl for second place all day with 94 tournament wins. Jimmy Connors results with 109.
In the doubles final, fifth-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat seventh-seeded Rohan Bopanna of India and Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 3-6, 10 -6.
While Roddick never managed to win a second grand slam championship despite four runner-up finishes, the outspoken Texas native won 32 titles and spent almost a decade in the top 10 during a 12 -year professional career that will see him inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame later this month.
It was really upsetting, Decker said of Roddicks shock decluttering. He did it one day when I was out of town.[ He] decided that these dont entail success to me, these dont define me and I dont genuinely care to have these material things sitting around the house, so he threw them in the junk. I think he saved a few but they are not on display.
Roddick, who has done occasional TV work in retirement for Fox Sports 1 and the BBC, is the founder and chair of an eponymous foundation with the goal of helping at-risk youth. He and Decker, who married in 2009, welcomed their first child, Hank, in September 2015.
On the first seven days of play at this years Wimbledon, womens matches were scheduled on Centre Court at half the rate of mens
No other sporting event offer me with impressions of elation and loathing as does Wimbledon. As a tennis fan who grew up playing on grass tribunals, these two weeks of lawn tennis are pure pleasure. But the tournament itself the suffocating stuffiness of its adherence to faux traditions, its delight in the class system and the inherent sexism of the scheduling also has me groan in despair.
Each year you will hear commentators wax gloriously about the traditions of Wimbledon but, really, such traditions are pretty thin on the ground. And as with many traditions in society, some of those in Wimbledon would be best discarded.
Take the all-white garb. It is just a hand down from the 1800 s when one didnt wish to see the sight of women perspiring. The tradition is also only really a tradition if you dismiss all the times it was disregarded in what are now regarded as historic moments.
But the worst part of Wimbledon is the inherent sexism.
This, of course, does have a long tradition. I can still recall remaining up as a kid to watch Chris Evert( then Chris Evert-Lloyd) play Martina Navratilova and wondering why the scoreboard read Mrs John Lloyd.
But this year the policy of giving mens match prominence over women has become all too obvious and out of step with the times.
On the first seven days of play, merely seven women matches were programmed to play on Centre Court, compared to 14 mens matches.
Laughably, on the traditional ladies day, the only reason two womens matches were played on Centre Court was because the two mens matches both aimed early due to retirements, a space in the schedule for another match.
That day, world number one, Angelique Kerber, played the opening match on Centre Court it was to be the only time “shes seen” the court. Her next match was on Court 1, and her third and fourth round matches were on Court 2.
That court is so far from the prime-time that the highest ranked man to play the court is the sixth seed, Milos Raonic. And yet not only did Kerber play on it, the womens number two seed, Simona Halep, played on it three times.
Of course, sexism had nothing to do with this decision. Die the suppose! It was just that, according to All England Clubs chief executive, Richard Lewis, the mens matches were what the public wanted to see.
And while you could argue that with Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, there were always at least two mens matches a day with household names playing, even here discrimination exists.
Mens fourth seed, Nadal, sarcastically noted this after his marathon fourth round match, which was played on Court 1, I want to come back because I want to play more days in the Centre Court.
His fourth seed counterpart in the womens event most likely let on a instead hollow giggle. While Nadal played two matches on centre court, Elina Svitolina played matches on Courts 3 and 12 the latter which has room for little over 1,000 spectators, compared to the 11,360 for Court 1.
The fourth round match Svitolina played on Court 12 was against the newest sensation in tennis 20 year old Latvian, Jelena Ostapenko, the present French Open title holder. Scarcely a tough match to promote.
And ask yourself: is there any route that the organisers would put a 20 -year-old man who had just won the French Open on an outer court if he was up against the fourth seed? Of course not.
Much of the problem comes from the tournaments own scheduling decisions.
It chooses to start matches on the two main tribunals at 1pm rather than 11:30 am as is the case on the other tribunals, because theorganisers laughably worry that the earlier start would mean empty stands, which would reduce part of Wimbledons atmosphere.
Generally the only day I consider empty seats in Centre Court is when the royal box is show, but I guess thats also part of the atmosphere( and one must not criticise the royals, though thankfully players no longer have to genuflect to them ).
The most obvious occurrence of the tournaments self-inflicted scheduling problems is on Manic Monday the working day when all mens and womens fourth round matches are played. This occurs only because the previous day is the traditional middle Sunday rest day( because why would you want to have games played on a Sunday when people who work are able to attend ?).
On that day, so many high class matches are being played that the tournament put one involving Kerber and Garbie Muguruza the winner of last years French Open on Court 2.
The pity of it was that the match was an absolute cracker. Muguruza won 4-6 6-4 6-4 and it was far more entertaining than Federers three defined win over Grigor Dimitrov later in the day( and I say that as an absurdly parochialFederer fan ).
And that is the problem with this policy.
Saying it occurs because mens matches are what the public wants to see is a self-perpetuating cycle. The populace( either those at the event or at home watching on TV) ensure the men, and not the women, play and thus dont even know who or what they are missing.
And for those who still want to scream but women only play best of three defines, that aspect stimulates the lack of games on Centre Court even more inexcusable, because there is the time to play an extra match, whereas it would not be possible to play another best-of-five match.
We hear this type of argument from Tv executives all the time about womens athletic, and yet as the recent Super Netball and AFLW seasons in Australia demonstrated, if you give women sport good coverage and promotion, the audience numbers will be there.
Wimbledon is in a unique posture of being able to promote the womens game. It can still have two mens matches a day, it simply needs to start earlier and put on an extra womens match on Centre Court.
No doubt Ill eternally be stuck watching the players wearing all-white, the half-empty royal box, the hushed tones about strawberries and cream and the traditions. But with luck, in future years, while looking forward to these two weeks I can also look forward to women being treated as less than second class.