Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tennis players with jitters?

So I am forgoing a third post in three days about the Lambert-goes-viral situation to recount a recent moment of irk I had when reading Tennis magazine. It's been a while since I complained about Tennis so I was due.
Said complaint comes from the US Open round-up which highlighted the top 5 stories of the 2009 tournament. And no, this post is not going to be about Serena Williams--directly anyway.
Number 4 on the list is titled "The men can serve. The women? Not so much." Immediate grrr moment but I read on to discover that the theory behind this fact is that the women have more power due to improvements in equipment (like the men) and so they can achieve unprecedented pace (also like the men) but for some reason cannot generate the same amount of spin. No attempt at an explanation for this alleged fact. Also the new power racquets help the returner--again an effect experienced by both men and women. But apparently this switch makes has a greater psychological effect on the women because it "only makes the women more jittery when the time comes to serve out a match." Hmm...more jittery? How do we interpret that statement. I don't think any interpretation is gender neutral. More jittery than men? More jittery than they were previously which implies women are always the more jittery players.
Any way you read it, it's problematic. It paints women as head cases and while we have seen a lot of meltdowns, they are certainly not all coming from women.

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