Tuesday, August 05, 2008

that one non-post about Wimbledon

Sometimes when you're writing blog post drafts, you realise they're just burying other drafts. This one I abandoned due to pure derailment (more on that in a moment), but I think it deserves to live.

Coverage of women's sport does, as with most coverage of women's anything, suck. Most often it's not there much at all, but then you get blessed lovely Wimbledon, in which it is there and is often cringe-worthy. Last year the blue person (with a wee bit of help from me) made a beautiful collection of the worst of the worst Wimbledon online news (locked away on Livejournal, gah [edit: It's here, so go read]), and I intended to reprise that this year.

a) many news sites were so turned on by gorgeous, fabulous Rafa that they reverted to Option 1 - not covering the women's game so much.
b) it was genuinely better. For real. I think this is partly because the worst reporting last year was about Marion Bartoli, who had the gall to play in the final in spite of not being thin. This wasn't just mean-spirited of her, but actually affronting to the laws of nature and acres of newsprint were devoted to the question of how it had happened and how it could be prevented in the future.
c) I was derailed by the discovery that by far the most stupid thing said all fortnight was by one of the female players.

Friends, I give you Sveltlana Kuznetsova, the dimmest bulb in the entire box.

...behind her on the players' terrace there is a commotion, as a posse of photographers cluster around Serena Williams. I have heard that she and Serena are good friends, I say. “Yes, we text. We go out sometimes. I have big respect for African (-American) people. I think I was black in a past life, because I feel so much for African culture. I tell Serena that I want her hair, to have corn rows like her. She laughs at me. She says we all wish for what we don't have. But she teaches me some slang, and shows me dance moves.” A delighted laugh. “I can't shake my body like African people.”


For what it's worth, here's a few more:

At The Independent, Paul Newmanat has made his tennis article contain as little tennis as possible. Instead, he faithfully regales us with Venus Williams's comments about...get this...food and babies. They are not even comments about eating babies, which would at least have been more entertaining than this trash.

And the Indy crowns itself as my new least favourite sports site with this from Tim Glover:
Equal pay isn't fair play [...] yesterday's winner in the family affair that was Williams v Williams walked away with prize money of £750,000, the sum that will be earned – really earned – by the men's singles champion today. Parity? It's nice work if you can get it, although for most of the time it can hardly be described in the women's game as work.

At The Times, the women's game is 'tame' and Venus and Serena Williams only reached the final because other players 'the top seeds at Wimbledon capitulated one by one and handed the trophy and the prizemoney to the Williams sisters'. [Fact: black women never deserve anything they've fought for. MOW keeps pointing this meme out.] Fortunately two commenters call Nick Pitt on his bullshit; 'didnt the same two guys play the final before. Didn't the women have upsets all through the two weeks. When this happens to the men it's exciting.'; 'Djokovic and Roddick lost early too. Does that mean men's tennis is in "trouble" ? Serve and volley? Few men play it anymore either.'

Over at the Daily Telegraph, Venus Williams is no longer a woman:
Venus' serve alone would have blown a few hats off in the Royal Box, and it was almost like watching the men's final on a Saturday. Not for nothing are they sometimes referred to as the Williams brothers.

More wow.

The Guardian's David Mitchell is brutally honest about the sexualisation of women's tennis, but is oblivious to the crap behind it:

Ana Ivanovic caused quite a stir at Wimbledon before being knocked out, largely because she's pretty. This has a particularly amusing effect on the BBC's ageing male commentators, who struggle to find a way to refer to the fact without saying anything sleazy. Their discomfort is palpable as they struggle with phrases like "very mobile and athletic", "nice dress", "young lady" and even "lights up the court". They're like tremulous uncles, weary and nervous of their own arousal.

They know they've got to mention it, you see - it's good for the business that is women's tennis. So they've got to say something but they know it mustn't be "I, for one, would like to bang her!" or "What's great about a player like Ivanovic is that she attracts a lot of teenage wankers as well as the tennis fans". They don't want metaphorical jizz on everyone's mental centre court but, at the same time, they know that, if the internet's taught us anything, it's not to underestimate the masturbatory pound.

Did you hear that subtext? Yes, yes, straight women don't masturbate. I guess Sue Barker's constant drooling over Roger Federer is representative of some phenomenon unknown to science.


Anonymous said...

Not locked, actually :) But yes, so much word. I was mostly elsewhere for Wimbledon, but I do remember catching a few bits and having someone actually say, out loud, 'Jankovic may not be as glamorous as some of the other top seeds...'

thene said...

Will edit it in, ta!

(One other thing I recall from last year, or maybe the one before; commentators saying that Nadal was a 'crowd favourite', but politely not mentioning that this is because he's so incredibly stonking hot. They've no such compunctions about the girls, ever.)

Aishwarya said...

I, for one, never notice whether a male player is attractive or not. You must just be shallow.