Friday, January 20, 2012

Passing shots

Former world number 6 Chanda Rubin is being inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame. Rubin lives in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The Family Circle cup is calling for tournament volunteers and also for ball crew members.

2006 Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo was sitting in the stands with Victoria Azarenka's coach, Sam Sumyk, during Azarenka's third round match.

Stan Wawrinka's behavior in his match yesterday stands as proof (like I needed any) that if Victorira Azarenka were "Victor" Azarenka, the crowd wouldn't dislike her at all.

Andrea Petkovic reports that she is "slightly" over her depression over not being able to play in Melbourne.

Here's your chance to predict who you think will be in the top 10 at the end of 2012.


Daniel said...

I'd volunteer if they would let you volunteer 1 or 2 shifts...volunteers I've talked with over the years have said they are very strict about the minimum 6 shifts rule. When you only get 3 weeks vacation a year, I really don't want to spend half of it working, you know? Maybe I should be a ball kid...think folks behind me could see the court? ;)

Diane said...

Well, you'd be in good company if you did it--they have great volunteers, who seem to know everything. You'd do a lot of walking!

Karen said...

Hi Diane. Happy New Year. The male players have behaved abominably at this year's AO. However, this is nothing new. What disheartens me even more than the bad behaviour is the response by fans and commentators to the bad behaviour. While they are sitting on their high horses talking about the women grunting, they seem to take the view that the despicable behaviour that is being portrayed by the men are a sign of their competitiveness. I am so over this sport right now it makes no sense.

Diane said...

Happy New Year to you, too, Karen.

Nothing changes, does it? If anything, it gets worse. Someone wrote the other day that if Azarenka wins the tournament, she'll be the most disliked champion in history. Why? Because she's obviously competitive? That's always been considered "male" behavior.

The women who don't compete "hard enough" are criticized for their lack of competitiveness. The women who compete very hard are criticized for what is obviously not being "feminine" enough.

Azarenka isn't breaking brand new racquets, taking a sit-down during a tiebreak changeover, or hitting multiple balls directly at her opponents' faces. And if she did, she surely wouldn't be described as "letting off steam."

"Equality" has become a buzz word at this Australian Open, but that equality, as usual, has nothing to do with women.

Karen said...

That is so true. I saw a documentary sometime ago on how they make tennis racquets and I had no idea that they were all hand made. To see Baghdatis sit on the changeover and take someone's hard work and destroy it all while having a smirk on his face made me want to reach through the tv and smack him.

Equality is a word that no commentary knows the true meaning of. At this rate I may just take up another sport. Tennis is just not doing it for me right now.

Sarah said...

Interestingly enough John McEnroe (who is out here in Australia commentating for one of our networks)was very sympathetic to Azarenka. He believed she was unfairly judged by the crowd, thought the referee should have overruled and let the challenge go to Barthel who still had some up her sleeve and he also made the comment that it was unfortunate the crowd reacted like that and he didn't believe they would if she had been a male player. He obviously has some recognition of the double standard that exists.

I do however believe the crowd dislike Azarenka mainly because of her "grunt". As much as we say it's a non issue I believe it is an issue, not for the WTA tour but for Azarenka herself. She handles it well and obviously doesn't care what people think but people hate the sound she makes and you can't change their opinion so it's something she's always going to have to deal with. I have to say I hate it too and I have no issue with any of the other so called grunters on tour. Azarenka's however is long and drawn out and sounds so unneccessary it just irritates me. For that reason I just can't like her as much as the other top players. I do however believe she's in with a great chance to win this Australlian Open. She's going to have to work hard to win over the crowd as well though.

Diane said...

That's quite interesting, Sarah, because--in the past, even the very recent past--McEnroe has made nasty comments about female players in general. Then he comes up with something like this--go figure. But--even though I doubt his consciousness has been rasied to a very high level--at least it's been raised.

Azarenka is really a lightning rod, isn't she? There's an in-your-face quality--even in her noise-making--that people find irksome.

Sarah said...

Hi Diane. Yes she is very in your face isn't she. It makes me think about Hewitt as he has also been criticised and disliked by some over the years for his competitive and fiery in your face kind of play. Now that he's a veteran on tour people love it (and we are really loving his run at the moment!) so maybe they'll mellow on Azarenka as well.

We'll have to hope McEnroe continues to raise his consciousness about this issue. I do recall you writing about some of his comments hence I was somewhat surprised that he came out with that too. He has made a few comments along the lines of "I've got four daughters and I believe the women deserve equal pay" so not sure where he is going with this line of thought ... will be interesting to see if it continues.