Disadvantage, Women [tennis players] (bah)

SI's Rick Reilly: Disadvantage, Women

Waah waah waah. It's not enough to make $675,000 to play 7 tennis matches (14 - 21 sets) in 2 weeks. I wonder if Reilly ever considered calculating the hourly salary of the women versus the men... they probably are making much more money than the men. When was the last time you heard of a men's grand-slam match taking 45 minutes? Venus barely practiced at all during her 35 match win streak last year and her dad has to pester her to train.

And it's only the last few years, since the Williams sisters started dominating, that the women players have even been FIT. In the early 1990's, Richard Krajicek (dutch male tennis pro) said most women tennis players were fat lazy pigs. Obviously, not a very smart comment to make as an ambassador for his sport, but it's not like he wasn't being observant. Look at Davenport, Capriati and Seles now. Very very fit in comparison. If they keep it up they'll even have the conditioning to play 5 set matches.

But a lot of women pros refuse to play 5 sets. They know full well they're being paid well for their time... my theory is they like having sympathetic fans...

How many male tennis players have endorsements anything near that of Kournikova and the Williams sisters, and probably Hingis as well? Only Agassi, I'd bet, and probably still less than Kournikova and the Williams. Venus has a $30M+ deal with Reebok over 3 years.

"Underpaid" women tennis players won't get any sympathy from me. Or Cheryl, my underpaid wife.

Written on July 12, 2001