Who’s Better on Sexism: The ATP or a Potato?

potato-03Various ATP players have weighed in with some hot takes on the WTA in the last few years. To figure out how to assess those players’ comments, I thought I’d compare them to a potato’s comments on the WTA to see who comes out on top.

(Thanks to PPP for the inspiration!)

Round 1

Raymond Moore:

“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, because they ride on the coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”

“I think the WTA have a handful – not just one or two – but they have a handful of very attractive prospects that can assume the mantle. You know, Muguruza, Genie Bouchard. They have a lot of very attractive players. And the standard in ladies tennis has improved unbelievably … They are physically attractive and competitively attractive. They can assume the mantle of leadership once Serena decides to stop. I think they really have quite a few very, very attractive players.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 2

Janko Tipsarevic: “Ninety-nine percent of male tennis players can’t stand women’s tennis. There’s no other sport with such a big disparity concerning level of play and the money women make. A friend of mine says that a woman who wins a Slam should only earn enough money to pay for her airplane ticket home … The way women think on court cannot be compared to men. Their only strategy is ‘hit the ball where your opponent isn’t.’ Nothing more! No ‘Put more spin on the ball, this is an important point, play to her backhand’. No way! … It’s that such kind of tennis works today. Look at the Williams sisters, Sharapova or Ivanovic who hits the ball like a truck on steroids. I get a bit critical when I see how much the women earn and how their opening rounds go. That’s what irritates me the most, I feel like going to WTA HQ and *something* all of them. Look at Federer who is so dominant, he has to work so hard to beat a Starace or an Almagro, he may even lose a set and then look at Sharapova or Ivanovic who lose three games in the first four rounds. It makes me sick.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 3

Novak Djokovic: “I think that our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches. I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve … I have tremendous respect for what women in global sport are doing and achieving. Their bodies are much different to men’s bodies. They have to go through a lot of different things that we don’t have to go through. You know, the hormones and different stuff, we don’t need to go into details.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 4:

Justin Gimelstob:

[Gimelstob] launched into an extraordinary diatribe in which he labelled Anna Kournikova a “*****” whom he wanted to harm, and described several other players at Wimbledon as “sexpots”.

During the radio interview, Gimelstob, a regular guest on the show, said that that he intended to hurt Kournikova next month, when they are due to meet in an exhibition match in Washington.

“I’m going to serve it right at the body, about 128 [mph], right into her midriff,” he said. “If she’s not crying by the time she comes off court then I did not do my job.”

Asked if that meant he hated the Russian, with whom he trained as a youth player, he replied: “Hate is a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level just below hate.” He added that he would not like to sleep with Kournikova, “because she’s such a ******”. Instead, “I wouldn’t mind my brother, who is kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits.”

Exactly what benefits he was hoping to reap were not clear, or whether he had similar hopes regarding Alize Cornet, the French player he said was a “sexpot”, and Nicole Vaidisova, the Czech teenager he described as a “well-developed young lady”.

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 5:

Gilles Simon: “I am for equal pay in life, but not in entertainment. It’s not about how hard you work. It’s about the show. I believe men’s tennis is more interesting than women’s tennis.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 6: 

Sergiy Stakhovsky: “On the WTA Tour, almost every other player is a lesbian. Can you imagine? Half of them. So I for sure won’t send my daughter to play tennis.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 7:

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “You know, the girls, they are more unstable emotionally than us. I’m sure everybody will say it’s true – even the girls. No? You don’t think? It’s just about hormones and all this stuff. We don’t have all these bad things, so we are physically in a good shape every time, and you are not. That’s it.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Round 8:

Marinko Matosevic:

Matosevic was asked after a first-round win over Marin Cilic his opinion of Mauresmo’s appointment and whether he could ever have a female coach.

“For me, I couldn’t do it since I don’t think that highly of the women’s game,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s all equal rights these days. Got to be politically correct. So, yeah, someone’s got to give it a go. It won’t be me.”

Potato: *says nothing*

Winner: Potato

Amy can be spotted on a tennis court in the Philadelphia area, shanking backhand volleys.

12 Responses

  1. Karen
    Karen March 21, 2016 at 9:54 pm |

    I love this LOL

  2. Animesh
    Animesh March 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm |

    Changeovertennis – zero posts in Feb ’16. Will keep beating up this crap talk from a select few men, demonizing the ATP for the rest of March ’16

    Potato: *says nothing*

    Winner: Potato

    1. Matt
      Matt March 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm |

      Animesh: Voluntarily makes a shitty, close-minded comment on a public website that nobody is forcing him to read. Uses the internet to shill a bunch of nonsense and doesn’t even consider the love affair that Amy has with DelPo and other ATP players.

      Potato: Is the de-facto national food of Ireland, is literally never not delicious in any form, makes for great breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

      Winner: Take a guess.

      1. Animesh
        Animesh March 22, 2016 at 10:09 pm |

        Have to commend you on the logic/language there Matt. 🙂
        Richard Moore’s close minded comments also showed his love affair with Genie and other ‘attactive’ WTA players. Larry Ellison didnt consider that love affair and forced him to resign (rightly so) after the ugly outcry.
        Now the tougher task is to get Larry Ellison to sit through a Round of 16 WTA prime-time game in the front seat to show the world he means what he said today about women’s tennis. All I notice him watching live in the stadium is ATP matches and may be the final one or two WTA rounds.
        Before you get personal again, I am a tennis fanatic and enjoy qualifier rounds too, even if its college tennis or USTA game, irrespective of gender.

  3. Jeff Linderman
    Jeff Linderman March 21, 2016 at 10:23 pm |

    None of your eight examples in the column above are remotely as important as the ATP statement from Kermode today, confirming that the ATP players and executives are OK with unequal prize money at joint tournaments. 40+ years of incredibly hard work from Billie Jean King and dozens of others is under serious threat of disappearing into thin air.

  4. James Pham
    James Pham March 22, 2016 at 1:27 am |

    Nice post, Amy.

    While I certainly don’t begrudge the women as much money as deserve, I don’t necessarily think that outside of the majors, there’s a case for equal pay. While tennis is a business to those who run it, it’s entertainment for the rest of us. Actors get paid based on how much revenue they can generate, and it’s a fact that the ATP generates more revenue than the WTA.

    That said, the entertainment value is in the eye of the beholder. Last weekend, I enjoyed the women’s final 100x more than the blowout men’s final. Each tour represents a completely different market. Yes, they’re both using racquets to hit balls, but the difference between men’s and women’s tennis ends there. Each tour should do what they can to maximize earnings for the players and help each other when they can (and when it makes business sense to do so, like at the GS). But I’m perfectly happy for them to remain separate business entities. It’s dumb for the men to compare earnings with the women, or denigrate the WTA tour – there’s absolutely no need to do so.

    Nole’s comments, while I believe were well-intentioned, were clumsy. Why not just stop at the universal fact that physiologically men and women are different – what one perceives as a weakness could actually be a strength to someone else.

    1. bbz
      bbz March 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm |

      I’m about on the page as you are. Since men and women play under different associations, each side should be paid what their respective association can obtain for them. Or else, dismantle the WTA and let all professional tennis players play under the same organization, and share the prize money from a tournament.

  5. catherine bell
    catherine bell March 22, 2016 at 3:58 am |

    A point which struck me – when Ray Moore was sounding off to a bunch of journalists at this ‘breakfast’ didn’t it cross his mind that his comments would be instantly reported ?

    And didn’t it also cross his mind that, as a consequence, he’d be out the door ? Which he now is, I’m glad to see.

  6. Sabey
    Sabey March 22, 2016 at 9:53 am |

    I’ll take the potato!
    Now if Nole wants pay to be based on popularity I hope he is ok with making less than Federer, Nadal, Muarray and Nishikori as those guys are more popular than he is. There is a reason the crowd is almost always against Nole. You are reminded of this every time he opens his mouth or glares at the fans for having the nerve to cheer for his opponent.
    The ATP need to be on their knees praying that Federer and Nadal don’t retire soon.

  7. Hartt
    Hartt March 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm |

    From the beginning of the 2 organizations the ATP has not shown any real interest in working with the WTA, much less helping it, so at least the WTA knows where it stands.

    Regarding Novak’s idea that men should be paid more because their games sell more tickets, would he be OK if the situation was reversed – if the women got more spectators at a joint event they would get more $ than the men? There was a time when the women could outsell the men and that could always happen in the future.

    As a tennis fan I find that it is hard to predict which matches will be entertaining – sometimes a men’s match will be great and other times it will be totally boring and the same is true for women’s matches.

  8. catherine bell
    catherine bell March 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm |

    Hartt –

    Good comments – let’s hope as the circuit moves on and time passes we’ll see an end to this noxious debate, for now. (I don’t believe the issue will ever go away because the idea of women achieving cuts across so many social/cultural assumptions – even today)

  9. Sabey
    Sabey March 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm |

    As of now, it looks like Stan Wawrinka and Any Murray are better than potatoes!

Comments are closed.