Tonight has been an amazing night of tennis at the US Open. Maria Sharapova was pushed to three sets by fellow Russian, Nadia Petrova and I am in the midst of watching a very close, intense three-setter between Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams. Let me reiterate--it's an amazing night of tennis. Not an amazing night of women's tennis. It's just good (ok--there have been a lot of unforced errors throughout the night--but it's still been really interesting) tennis.
I say this because two women's night matches are uncommon at the Open. And the commenators did not fail to point this out. They noted that tomorrow night the scheduling goes back to "normal" with a woman's match followed by the men. I do not understand, given the incredible surge in popularity of women's tennis, why the US Open continues to believe that it has to schedule a men's match after a women's match in order to draw a crowd. The stadium is packed tonight. And it will be packed tomorrow night too because of the Agassi-Blake match. But that is what the scheduling people should take into consideration: the magnitude of the match and its players--not their gender. What is surprising is that the US Open (or more likely, CBS) has shown it realizes the draw toward the women's game because it schedules the women's final during primetime on a Saturday. Yet it can't get over this women as an opener for the men mentality.