The Rafael Nadal dilemma, Caroline Wozniacki’s defense — The Friday Five

By Maud Watson

Rafael Nadal

Beating a Dead Horse

Rafael Nadal made headlines this week, and quite frankly, the reasons behind the headlines are getting old. First he announced that he isn’t setting a return date, which had already been established. Until it seriously looks likely he’ll miss the Australian Open, it’s a topic that doesn’t need attention until 2013. The second reason was for Nadal’s incessant complaining about the number of hard court tournaments on the calendar. Nobody denies that hard courts are more taxing on the body, but he seems to be the only player with a major gripe about the surface. If anything, Nadal’s remarks came across as self-serving. A number of players call the hard courts their best and favorite surface, and many of those past and present players have enjoyed fruitful careers with few to no injuries. Furthermore, the Spaniard didn’t seem to complain about the general slowing of the surfaces, which has allowed for more extended rallies, which in turn has arguably contributed to his physical woes. But most disappointing of all is Nadal’s blindness, or perhaps unwillingness, to recognize his own role in contributing to his physical breakdown. Yes, a genetic problem has been partially to blame, but pundits have said for years that his grinding style would catch up with him. Now it appears it may be time to pay the piper. If that now means adjusting his schedule to pick up a few more clay court events – something he sounds almost bitter about – then so be it. We all want to see a healthy Nadal competing at the highest level year round, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of tailoring the calendar to suit one player’s needs.

Off the Mark

Coming on the heels of the 39th anniversary of the famous “Battle of the Sexes,” Billie Jean King was asked about the topic of equal prize money, which became a hot-button issue in 2012. “The guys can’t stand it,” she said in reference to the subject. She cited how dominant groups have historically struggled to share with non-dominant groups, and she expressed her disappointment in Federer’s lack of open support for equal pay to help overcome this barrier, particularly given the number of influential females in his life. She also called out players who have openly opposed equal prize money, like Simon and Tipsarevic, suggesting that they think of their possible future daughters. She stressed that, “It’s not about the money – it’s about the message.” But what exactly is the message? That the WTA players deserve the same pay as the ATP players just because they’re both professional athletes playing many of the same tournaments? There should be more to it than that. BJK may have refuted the “best-of-five vs. best-of-three” argument, but she didn’t address other points raised by opponents of equal pay – namely that the men consistently do a better job packing the stands, which in turn leads to higher ticket sales and more lucrative television deals. The ATP also doesn’t suffer from the shrieking epidemic that has turned some fans away from the game. Furthermore, until recently, the WTA has struggled to find consistency at the top, and the last couple of years, some of their biggest draws have been inconsistent performers at best, and part-time competitors at worst. Essentially, the men are currently offering a better product. What would BJK do if the shoe were on the other foot? Would she be so quick to say the men deserved equal prize money if it were the WTA offering the better deal? The WTA is moving closer to creating a comparable product, but with all due respect to BJK, until that product is established those who oppose equal prize money have a solid argument.

Closing In

Current No. 1 Victoria Azarenka may have had to withdraw from Tokyo citing dizziness potentially brought on by chronic fatigue, but with her run to the quarters, she’s moved ever closer to clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking. The Belarusian presently doesn’t know for certain the source of the dizziness, but she’ll be looking to be rested and ready to go in Beijing. As if she needed added incentive, Serena Williams has announced her withdrawal from the upcoming mandatory event in China due to a bad bout of the flu. Despite a history of playing very little in the fall throughout her career, many thought the younger Williams would look to make a push this autumn in an effort to finish the year atop the rankings. If Azarenka can get herself healthy and put together a run to the final next week, however, it will be mathematically impossible for the American to overtake her young rival. It’s a big ask for Azarenka, but it’s certainly added a bit more intrigue to the conclusion of 2012.

Always on the Defense

Danish superstar Caroline Wozniacki ended her long title drought with a win last week in Korea. She absolutely thumped Kaia Kanepi with just the lost of one game in the title match. Despite the win, however, reporters instead chose to take digs at the former No. 1, suggesting that her ranking of No. 11 was a disappointment. It’s natural that questions would have been asked when she initially fell out of the top spot, but at this stage, enough is enough. Wozniacki can’t be blamed for reaching the apex of the women’s game just because she proved the most capable player of showing up week in and week out. And while 2012 has been rough on her as far as where the majors were concerned, she’s shown a willingness to try retooling her game. She’s still young enough to do that, and it’s too early to pass judgment. So for now, let her enjoy the win in Korea, the quarterfinal showing in Tokyo, and wait and see what 2013 holds before we write her off as another Jankovic or Safina.

Breakthrough

Suddenly Jo-Willie Tsonga’s surprising loss at the US Open isn’t looking so bad. 23-year-old Martin Klizan, who knocked the Frenchman out of the year’s final major, has following up his success by claiming his first ATP title with his victory in St. Petersburg over Fabio Fognini in straight sets. Seven months ago, the Slovak was ranked 121, but with his win in Russia, he stands at a career high ranking of 33. Keep an eye on this fast-rising Slovak. He’s one spot away from being guaranteed a seed at a major, and he could cause some problems for some of the game’s best if his upset of Tsonga is any indication.

30 Responses to The Rafael Nadal dilemma, Caroline Wozniacki’s defense — The Friday Five

  • Mar Nixon says:

    Wise words about Caro, but where’s the evidence about the ATP constantly packing the stands? It’s something that’s constantly thrown out with never ever any concrete numbers to back it up.

  • priya says:

    During 2001-2003, popularly called the weak era, men’s tennis was in the doldrums and ATP was desperate for a saviour. How come at that time nobody said men should be paid less than the women. Also in the late nineties, men spent more time during changeovers than on court. Spectators could see some entertaining tennis only on the women’s side. Once again these great votaries of less pay for women were notably absent. Apparently, it is ok for men to get more than women but not the other way around.
    Also, as another poster pointed out, may we have authentic figures for viewership of ATP and WTA matches. Statistics for the last 12 years might be useful?
    I suppose these same morons would say Maria Sharapova shouldn’t get more endorsement money than the men.
    Also is ATP subsidizing WTA ? Or is WTA self sufficient? If the latter, do the ATP guys have any right whatsoever to say anything about women’s pay?

  • Mark Anderson says:

    Gee Maud, the Americans who played on nothing but hardcourts as young men are no longer around in tennis in any dominant fashion. You should look up your history before you write. Tennis should go back to grass and clay, that’s the real sport, not the hardcourt bull that America inflicted on the world.

  • site web says:

    I simply want to mention I am just beginner to blogging and site-building and absolutely savored your website. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your website . You absolutely come with awesome writings. Regards for revealing your blog.

  • I simply want to mention I’m newbie to blogging and site-building and definitely loved this blog. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You really come with remarkable articles and reviews. Regards for sharing with us your web page.

  • domain sales says:

    Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

  • Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  • My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome weblog!

  • Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and amazing style and design.

  • look at here says:

    I simply want to say I’m very new to blogs and really savored this website. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your site . You definitely come with incredible article content. Cheers for sharing your web page.

  • The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I really believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  • Having a Child After 40 – How to Do it When the Doctors Say You Can’t at:: InfertilityCure.tk

  • What as Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I ave found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Good job.

  • Lee says:

    No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she needs to be available that
    in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

    My blog personal injury (Lee)

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to
    get my very own blog now ;)

  • You will find explanation why individuals employ celebs to back products.
    The widespread popularity of cosmetic surgeries such as liposuction (also referred to as
    lipoplasty or suction lipectomy) attests to this
    fact. The news started spreading yesterday from TMZ that Andrey Hicks
    has proof he had an affair with Kim Kardashian. No, it’s not a Halloween trick – the rumors are true.

    Now more and more women drem of owning a pair of Christian Louboutin.

    Here is my website; unlimited stars kim kardashian game

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is really good.

    Also visit my web blog David Servant Amazon

  • Great beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your web
    site, how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account aided
    me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit familiar of this
    your broadcast provided brilliant clear idea

  • Thank you ever so for you blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  • A round of applause for your post. Fantastic.

  • excellent issues altogether, you simply gained a logo new reader.

    What may you suggest in regards to your post that you made
    a few days in the past? Any positive?

  • Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  • Very good article.Thanks Again. Cool.

  • It’s going to be end of mine day, however before ending I am reading this impressive paragraph to
    increase my knowledge.

  • Appreciate you sharing, great article. Really Great.

  • Derick says:

    I really like it when people get together and share opinions.

    Great site, keep it up!

  • Thanks for the blog article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  • I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from latest information.

    my wweb blog: take surveys for money

  • Having read this I believed it was very informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too much
    time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    My blog post – removals france

  • Major thankies for the blog article.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>