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Female tennis issues

I recently blogged on this organ on the subject of the French Open tennis authorities declaring that in future it would not be acceptable for Serena Williams to wear a cat suit on court during their tournament.

Overnight I spotted this piece by Susie Mesure criticising the attitude of the French Open authorities for being sexist and of elite professional tennis generally for being run for (any by) men – see here as appears upon the website of – THE INDEPENDENT

Separately, Rust readers may also have noticed the furore created at the US Open tennis when female player Alize Cornet who – having mistakenly put her tennis shirt on back to front – nipped to the back of the court during a match, whipped it off and switched it round in seconds … only to receive a code violation because this act of undressing (permitted in men’s tennis) is not allowed in the women’s version, thus causing howls of protest from female (feminist) campaigners including Andy Murray’s mother Judy.

See here for a report by Martha Kelner and Tom Lutz on the incident as appears upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN

Personally I regard these stories as storms in a tea cup, probably part-caused by the annual August media ‘silly season’ when there’s not much happening in the world and hacks are desperate for any kind of controversy to offset the fact that there’s actually nothing worth reporting at the moment.

That said, I find some of the female campaigning arguments as laid out by Ms Mesure in her Independent piece bordering upon the weird and illogical. Especially when she says that women tennis players looking feminine – or rather (I suppose) ‘being required to wear stereotypically-feminine-looking sports clothes’ – is a symptom of male control of tennis – and also the fact that women are limited to playing the best of three sets.

Be careful of what you wish for, Ms Mesure and indeed ladies generally. It’s not just the issue of whether to wear skirts or shorts.

It won’t before we get to the point where women tennis player demand the right not to wear bras on court (like men don’t have to).

I’m exaggerating here in order to make my point – at least I think I am – when I assure ladies everywhere that if and when leading female tennis players (or indeed lady tennis players on my local municipal courts) decide to begin ‘going topless’ in order to defy convention and advance their cause, they will certainly have … er … my support!

Furthermore, please don’t get me started on the fact that women seem to have gained the ‘unfair’ advantage in professional tennis that at major tournaments they get aid the same as men but only play three sets of tennis instead of five.

Anytime you ladies want to play five-set tennis, you go right ahead.

Why do I say this? Because the general relative weakness and lack of fitness of female athletes generally (compared to men) will then be revealed in all its glory.

In fact, why don’t we ban female tennis altogether in the cause of gender equality? Women and men should perhaps in future simply play in the same tournaments across the board at all levels of the game.

That would be true equality, wouldn’t it?