Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quote of the week

"She showed desire, passion, heart, and class....And I also liked what she had to say afterward--that she had limitless energy and that she exceeded even her own limits. From now on, she's going to be the image of our World Cup."
Italian coach Marcell Lippi, speaking of Francesca Schiavone


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the quote. I hope the comment tide is turning towards that great feeling, almost-miracle that is Francesca. It's such a feel good story - a long time tennis professional that plays the best tennis the first time on the biggest stage. And the fact that she's a "she" is great stuff for us guy tennis fans.

Diane said...

I thought it was an especially nice thing that he said that. It truly is a good story, and I don't think there will be a better one this year.

Overhead Spin said...

Very good quote and I too am hoping that her win will influence other players in her country to do well in their individual sports. On another note, there are pictures floating around the net of Schiavone and of course instead of showcasing her as an athlete, they had to go sex up her image. Not sure how to transfer pictures and stuff but I checked out Forty Deuce this morning and saw pictures of Schiavone in Daisy Duke shorts looking all sultry and stuff. I just do not know what else to say, I really do not. I have no idea why this is the only way that advertisers think that they can market female athletes. I just do not get it. I do not see them marketing Federer, Nadal, Kobe, Lebron or any other big name athlete when they win a major tournament like this. FWIW I think they do a disservice to Nadal by marketing him as a fun loving kid. He is 24 years old for goodness sake, what is he doing going to Disneyland?

Diane said...

There are two parts to the problem, though: As long as the players allow this type of marketing, it will go on. It was only a few decades ago that young women would have protested loudly and gotten other women to support them. Now they go along with it. There sure is a lot of internalized sexism in the "post feminist" world.

Diane said...

Oh, I forgot about Nadal...The problem appears to be that his handlers can't decide how to market him. Was it their decision to take off the capri pants and the muscle shirts and make him a "grown-up"? His former "new" look was actually great (I thought), and I think we all got used to it. But then they put plaid shorts and a $500,000 watch on him, which is so not "kid goes to Disneyland."

Overhead Spin said...

Diane so true. This morning I was watching a match between Riske and Wickmayer. I would first like to comment on the commentator who insisted on calling both women girls. I thought to myself, would he call the men who are playing boys. It just got more and more annoying the more the match progressed. I did not realise how seriously I took this issue but it was like it just aggravated me the more it went on. The difference was even more profound when I switched to the men's matches being played and noticed that the commentators there just kept referring to the men by their names or saying both guys or men. I just do not get it.

Anyway, on to the match. It was the first time I was seeing Riske play and what a joy to see a young player with a good transition game. She has a very good serve, is able to attack and defend very well and I wish her all the best in her next match. Her joy at getting to the semis said it all.

Her opponent Wickmayer should take a lesson in how to lose graciously. It was not her opponent's fault that she got some bad line calls, but slapping your opponent's hand at the net in a paradoy of a handshake does not do well to imbue good feelings amongst fans. After the first set that Wicky took in a tie break I was a bit bemused that she called her coach to the court. The fact that she then went on to lose the next 2 sets says it all. The only person I saw in Riske's camp looked like her sister who just quietly kept cheering her on from the stands. Good win for Riske and another one to watch from the ranks of the up and comers. I have never joined the Wickmayer bandwagon. I saw her play for the first time last year at Birmingham and while I was impressed with her game her inability to close out matches and sets led me to believe that she was not strong mentally. Her career over the last year has just cemented that thought in my head.

Overhead Spin said...

Diane, LOL on Nadal

Diane said...

I saw Alison play in Charleston last year after she won the SMASH Junior Cup (the winner gets a wild card into Charleston qualifying). She lost her match, but I was impressed by her poise and her smart approach to the match (I remember having that same feeling several years ago, the first time I saw Cibulkova play).

Wickmayer needs to calm down, for sure. She has too much talent to let matches slip away because of her emotions.

Sunny nine said...

I was upset about Schiavone also but as you said Diane, the players make a decision to go along with it. Also the WTA supports the "off-court glamour." They even outright talk about it. I also noticed that one of the biggest talking points lately has been what the women are going to wear at Wimby. Not about how their game is going currently.
But I thought it was great that Lippe who is coaching in the biggest sporting even in the world and all men, would basically say that a woman would be their inspiration.

Diane said...

The WTA, like the LPGA, is desperate for the world to know that there are "no lesbians here!" The irony is that the actual gay members of the tour keep a very low profile, anyway (duh). When players look really fit, they are immediately "accused" of being gay, taking steroids--or both. Instead of getting in the media's face and challenging the public's ridiculous notions of "femininity," the tour not only goes along with the sexist/homophobic image-building--it also supports it.

There is nothing wrong with off-court glamour, per se. But here is the problem: Fernando Verdasco can strip down to his undies and do sexy ads every day, but people still consider him an athlete first. Women are never considered athletes first, so the off-court stuff doesn't need to be given such a push by the tour.

I always go back to that interview with Hantuchova, in which she said she does enjoy fashion, but she likes to keep her on-court look very plain because when she's on the court, she wants people to look at her tennis. That is her way of dealing with it, and I respect that.

Players at the top level, like Venus and Serena and Maria, are international celebrities, and glamming it up is different, I think, for them. They are in a different category.

I have nothing against players enjoying the fun part of being famous. But attention can be paid to them without air-brushing out their personalities, making them look like men's magazine sex objects, or creating over-the-top
objections to any hint that they might not be heterosexual. Who cares?