The men’s final just completed between Novak Djokovic & Roger Federer was the greatest tennis match ever. Djokovic defeated Federer 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3); in a match that was impossible to determine who was going to win until the very end.
This match was broadcast exclusively on ESPN, meaning many US households that cut-the-cable/satellite-cord a long time ago, didn’t get to see this live. Perhaps this is why America hasn’t produced a homegrown men’s Grand Slam winner since Sampras, Agassi, etc?
The point is that the Wimbledon finals (men’s & women’s) needs to be broadcast on a major network. Wimbledon finals is the Super Bowl of tennis, so you want as many viewers as possible for advertisers. That’s the traditional theory of television advertising which everyone understands.
People in the US are interested in great sporting events, even if they don’t involve Americans. The USWNT in soccer just proved quality women’s competition garners serious interest on all sides in winning World Cup 2019.
With Wimbledon, ESPN and the major networks pandered to crude interests by not broadcasting the Federer-Nadal semifinal match, and both the men’s & women’s finals on a major network– meaning ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox. The games of tennis needs that exposure, and Disney, which owns ESPN & ABC made the conscious decision to stunt the growth of the game by keeping both finals on ESPN. In Sanford-Orlando, FL it was infomercials from car dealers on ABC during this instant classic, a ratings-loser move for sure.
On the women’s side, 7-seed Simona Halep defeated 11-seed Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the finals to win her 1st Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam. Bitch factor was kept mostly under control this time around.
Taking a closer look at Serena Williams’ 2019 Wimbledon run reveals (once again) that she played no top-quality opponents until the finals. She defeated 18-seed Julia Goerges in the 3rd Round, and 30-seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the 4th. Everyone else was unseeded, until Halep (pictured above) thrashed her in the finals.
The draws in the WTA majors are obviously constructed to keep Serena Williams in it as long as possible. Since Serena Williams’ “comeback” at the 2018 French Open, she has magically avoided playing Halep, Kerber, Muguruza, Osaka, Stephens, Sharapova, etc in her section of the draw in every major. How & why does that happen? Every time Williams has lost to one of these named above opponents, it has been in straight sets, which means it isn’t a fluke. You don’t see that deliberate favorable seeding of a top player in the ATP.
What I’ve noticed is that the women players have adapted. Simona Halep defeated unseeded Victoria Azarenka (always a tough opponent) in the 3rd round. Halep had to beat 8-seed Elina Svitolina in the semis. All her other opponents before the finals were unseeded. A bunch of big women names went down early again, and Halep’s path to the Wimbledon finals was also cleared. At this point, as long as Simona Halep is rested & healthy, she will beat Serena Williams. Halep is age 27, and Williams is 37. It appears the women are working together, taking turns denying Serena Williams another major. This is under-the-radar bitch factor at work, FYI.
The Serena Williams era in women’s tennis is at its end, as far as winning majors goes. Wimbledon is always her best shot with her dominant serve, and again she couldn’t come close to winning a set in the finals. This happened last year against Angelique Kerber, and then against Naomi Osaka at the US Open.
After her third straight Grand Slam final defeat, Serena Williams was inanely asked in her postmatch news conference whether she should focus on tennis over being a celebrity or fighting for equality. “The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me [black] will be the day I’m in my grave,” Williams responded.
This was a shot across the bow of lesbian WTA legend Billie Jean King, who stated to the BBC mid-Wimbledon, “Quite frankly, if I were Serena, I would give up being a celebrity for a year and a half if she wants to win titles, if she wants to beat records, that’s the question. I don’t know what she wants.” King later tweeted to clarify her views after Serena Williams’ retort, saying she supported the work Serena Williams did to push for equality.
I find it interesting that Serena Williams who is worth over $180 million feels that she is fighting for equality, and so does Billie Jean King. Serena Williams is in the top 0.1% in terms of wealth, in the most unequal society in the world. Billie Jean King is obviously blinded by the politics here, but correct in that Serena Williams is living in a fantasy world, and that won’t win any more majors.
Sensationally [!] Serena Williams made a public apology to Naomi Osaka as the tournament began. Notably, her apology didn’t to extend to chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who was most abused by Serena Williams’ vile outburst at the 2018 US Open. Serena Williams only felt the need to apologize to a black woman, which says everything about her politics. Reactionary feminism & racialism to the core. That’s what pays today.
Does anyone else notice how well-coordinated all of Serena Williams’ media campaigns are? She got the cover of Harper’s Bazaar (above) as a platform for her apology to Naomi Osaka. That’s when the “time was right” for this super-connected & spoiled female athlete to burnish her image. What about the refused drug test at her home last June? What about TUE’s? What about the $10,000 fine for practice court abuse at Wimbledon a few days ago? How come no one in the corporate media asks these questions?
The Celebrity-Fan Zone:
Here is celebrity equality in action at Wimbledon. Actor Woody Harrelson was in attendance watching Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah win a four-and-three-quarter-hour epic in the Wimbledon men’s doubles final. But Woody Harrelson stole the show by being treated like an average fan by the Wimbledon security attendant, who wouldn’t let him back to his seat until the game was over.
Players don’t like fans moving about during a game, and therefore patrons must wait to move in or out of the stadium. Woody Harrelson acknowledged that, and sipped his drink in the tunnel while he waited. Lots of celebrities would flip out, instead of respecting the etiquette. Harrelson would tell you, it’s HARD WORK looking that goofy. HARD WORK!!
Theoretical tennis question for men: How good is Serena Williams?
Most men would lose 6-0, 6-0 to her, unless they are a really good player. If she double faults or hits one wide, you didn’t “win” that point, she gave it to you– so respect that difference. A “good player” is defined at minimum as: 1) an upper-tier D1 NCAA player, or 2) a top recreational player who bagels everybody he plays.
A quality male competitor with his serve should be able to win a few games against the greatest women’s player ever. But respect the fact that Serena Williams is an experienced professional, so consistency with her overall game bagels 99+% of males who ever picked up a tennis racket.
The ATP is in its most glorious era ever, with the three greatest players ever winning every major in site. Federer still has 20 majors, Nadal 18, and Djokovic 16. I predict that when it’s all over, they’ll all be tied. How’s that for objectivity? Nadal (age 33) is still unbeatable on clay, and Djokovic (age 32) is barely the best on grass, while clearly the best on the hardcourts. Roger Federer turns age 38 on August 8, and for him to be a part of the latest “greatest match in tennis history,” says so much about his greatness.
The women’s game is in turnover, and there remain serious questions about the integrity of the seedings & draws in the WTA majors. With Serena Williams leaving the game, PED’s need to become an open discussion, as I believe the vast majority of women players favor strict bans on all usage.
The ubiquitous desire to be alpha-dominant on the men’s side, doesn’t exist so much with women in sports. Women generally favor comfort & safety over athletic glory. That’s why a hardened & overwhelming competitor like Serena Williams can come along and wipe everybody out for an era. It was amazing to watch, but the excesses & ethics of doping need to be considered in total. Is it worth it?
Her situation will eventually be viewed the same as Barry Bonds & Lance Armstrong. This means Serena Williams was clearly better than her competition, but still felt disrespected, slighted, provoked, or whatever into pushing the PED envelope. The truth is none of them needed it. Even if their numbers suffered a bit, they would still eventually be recognized as the best ever. But when you cheat, and deny it; the public has no tolerance for that. When this gives the best player an unfair edge, Serena Williams’ claims of fighting for equality come off as hypocritical nonsense.