by Adéwálé Ṣóbọ̀wálé

I posted something about kites sometime last week. That was a stillborn kite. There is another kite being contemplated that might turn out to be positive.

It is all about tennis. Lawn tennis!

There has been a lot of discussions and arguments over the male/ female superiority in lawn tennis. While some are feeling there should be no difference in the prize monies because of equality of the sexes. This view is mostly held by feminists who believe feminism is all about equal opportunity, equal freedoms and equal respect for women.

However, some believe the men serve faster,hit harder, and cover more court than the women. They also feel because men play longer matches, they are superior and should earn more.Those in this school of thought have even argued that the best women tennis players are hardly better than high school boys.

The successful female player, Serena Williams has earned over $10.5 million in the past year while Novak Djokovic has earned over $21.6 million.

Over the years, there have been some male versus female encounters.

Will Tilden beat Suzanne Lengle in 1920.

On January 28, 1933, Phil Neer played against Helen Wills Moody. She beat him in two sets, 6-3, 6-4. Neer was the eighth ranked American at that time while Moody was the reigning Wimbledon champion.

On mother’s day in 1973, Bobby Riggs (55), the Wimbledon champion of 1939 defeated Margaret Court, 6-2, 6-1. Court had achieved the Grand Slam in 1970.

On September 20,1973 Billie Jean King, the current female champion defeated Bobby Riggs. They played 6-4, 6-3,6-3.

On September 25, 1992 at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Jimmy Connors played against Martina Navratilova. Martina was 36 years old and Connors who had retired was 40. In spite of the fact that Martina was allowed two services to Connors’ one, Martina lost 7-5,6-2!

Another interesting match was the one of Karsten Brasch against the William sisters. Before the match, Karsten had played a round of golf, drank a couple of beers and smoked some cigarettes. He beat Serena 6-1 and Venus 6-3!

When Serena was 18 in 1999 and was ranked 4th in the world, she believed she could beat the men’s best. She even applied for a wild card entry to take part in the men’s singles event at the Euro Card Open. However, it did not materialise because she was not a man.

Yannick Noah defeated Justine Hennes in December, 2003. The man won 4-6,6-4,7-6.

Andy Murray and Serena Williams agreed to a Battle of the Sexes which should have been held in Las Vegas. However, the match never took place.

In 2013, Novak Djokovic played against Li Na in Beijing, China. Li was given a 30-0 advantage at the start of each service. Li won 3 games to 2.

Just last week, John McEnroe in response to an interviewer’s question declared that Serena Williams would have been ranked, ‘like 700 in the world’, if she had to play in the men’s circuit.

And Serena? ‘….keep me out of your statements that are not factually based’.

McEnroe has since suggested that a.Battle of the Sexes should be formalised. If it is taken to, it will put to a rest to the arguments of superiority between males and females in lawn tennis.

More importantly, it will create a new avenue of making money for all concerned.


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