Friday, July 01, 2005

Where's Amelie?

Before I begin complaining, I want to give due credit to the ESPN powers-that-be who have finally begun to understand the nuances of covering a tennis tournament. The network has gotten much better at showing a range of matches.
But all is not wonderful...I woke this morning, ran down to turn on the TV hoping to catch the last few games of the Davenport/Mauresmo match which was rain-delayed in the 3rd set yesterday. No such luck. It was over--no coverage. I saw none of that match which, at least by looking at the scores (two tie-breaks and a 6-4 third set to Davenport) was one of the better of the tournament. Instead I had the opportunity to see tennis's current beauty queen (albeit one with talent this time) Maria Sharapova lose to Venus Williams--not once, not twice--but three times between ESPN2's coverage and NBC's. A little coordination might have helped.
A whole fortnight and I did not see any of Mauresmo's matches. A woman who made it to the semi-finals without dropping a set and nothing. She is a foreigner, and French to boot (though I thought we had gotten over that whole francophobe thing) but she was playing all- American girl Lindsay Davenport who, at 29, is not going to be able to contest for a Grand Slam title much longer.
Now, Mauresmo is an openly-gay player, the only one (besides Martina) in a tennis world filled with closet cases and homophobes. I am not making accusations, but I can't help but wonder how much Mauresmo's alleged "masculine" style of play and demeanor has something to do with her lack of air time.

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