Friday, September 17, 2010

Spain's top players to boycott February's Fed Cup competition

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Arantxa Parra Sontonja, Carla Suarez Navarro, Nuria Llogostera Vives, and Lourdes Dominguez Lino will not play in the first round of 2011 Fed Cup competition. Yesterday, Spain's top six players signed a statement in which they refuse to play because of the Spanish Tennis Federation's "lack of support, communication and enthusiasm" for women's tennis. The players maintain that support declined upon the arrival of Prime Minister Jose Luis EscaƱuela.

In late 2009, the Federation agreed to improve conditions for women's tennis. The players who signed the statement said that, a year later, nothing has improved. The 2009 agreement called for better medical care, more hard courts, and more support for Spanish tennis tournaments. The players are also protesting a reduction in prize money.

According to press repoerts, the Spanish Tennis Federation has released a statement which outlines proposed improvements for women's tennis, but the players say that these proposed improvements are "patchy" at best.

Spain is scheduled to play Estonia in the first round of 2011 Fed Cup competition.


Overhead Spin said...

Well, well, well. That is very nice to see and I hope that they stick to it. For all that is being said about Spanish men's tennis, apart from Nadal, they have not been winning many titles or indeed as far as I am concerned a factor.

None of them have actually won a MS title, except for Nadal and Martinez-Sanchez just won a Premier title in Rome this season. I agree with the ladies and I hope they stick to their guns on this one.

Diane said...

My guess is that the "patchy," last-minute attempts (which the players think are just for show) to give support could be replaced by real support within the next few months. If that were to happen (I hear ASV's voice in the background), they would probably play.

Overhead Spin said...

True, but we will have to wait and see. The other day I was watching a programme on Tennis Channel called the Next Generation or something like that. I watched it for about 20 minutes and did not see one female player. I turned the channel and went to watch something else, switched back to the last 10 minutes of the show on TC and apparently all they featured were men's players.

I have noticed that women's tennis does seem to take a back seat in most of the Federation's efforts of the world in promoting players. The exception to this may actually be Russia which does seem to take the view that women's tennis in Russia receives all the support it can get. I have never actually heard or read any interviews where the Russian women complain about their Federation. They complain about the Fed Cup captain and his penchant for guilting them into playing Fed Cup but no doubt the support of the Federation is there.

The US, Australian, British and now the Spanish Federation all seem to throw their resources behind the men. The thing is that on the international stage it is the women who are the top performers in all these Federations yet they get no love or support.

I have to say that with the TC programme I was truly shocked to not see one female player amongst the Next Generation or whatever it was. If but for the US Open many of us would not know what up and coming young female players are out there.

Diane said...

The other country that throws its support (well, it's certainly not our version of "support" but it's some kind of support)to women is China.

I'm not sure, but I think there is a female version of "Who's Next" on Tennis Channel.