Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Formula One 2014: Complete schedule, standings, driver info
Venus Williams of the US returns a shot against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during their semifinal match of the Toray Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo last week. Williams said she is open to playing five-set matches just like the men. Kiyoshi Ota / EPA
Venus Williams of the US returns a shot against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during their semifinal match of the Toray Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo last week. Williams said she is open to playing five-set matches just like the men. Kiyoshi Ota / EPA

Quality matters much more than quantity in women’s tennis

It is the content that matters and that is the only reason women should be playing best-of-five sets, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

At the US Open last month, Andy Murray waded into the equal prize money debate, saying women “should play best-of-five sets” in an interview with the New York Times.

Last week, Stacey Allaster, the WTA chief, said her players were “ready, willing and able” to play best-of-five set matches at majors to justify equal prize money.

Stars of the women’s tour such as Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber have said they are ready to accept that challenge.

But seriously, this debate seems a bit skewed. Tennis is not a 9-to-5 job and the players are not pay-by-the hour like the Walmart staff. So calls for women to work the same hours, or sets, as the men to justify their equal pay, or prize money, seems a bit pitiful.

It is as absurd as women turning around and saying, “OK, we will play five sets, but men should play in skirts for the sake of equality”.

The price of a book is not decided by the number of pages, nor do the fattest books automatically get nominated for the Booker, Pulitzer, Kafka or Nobel. And the Oscars are not given to the longest movies.

It is the content that matters and that is the only reason women should be playing best-of-five sets. The greatest matches in men’s tennis – the epics and the classics – have all been played over five sets.

If moving to best-of-five sets would lead to similar matches on the women’s tour, and it might, then they should embrace it. The need to justify their equal prize money should not be the criteria.

arizvi@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Floyd Mayweather lands punches on trainer Nate Jones on Tuesday at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas ahead of his May 3 championship unification bout with Marcos Maidana. Ethan Miller / Getty Images / AFP / April 22, 2014

In pictures: Floyd Mayweather trains for Maidana fight

Images from earlier in the week as Floyd Mayweather trained at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas ahead of his May 3 championship unification fight with Marcos Maidana.

 UAE rugby player Daniel Minks pushes against a Singapore tackler during Wednesday night’s Asian Five Nations Test. Sarah Dea / The National / April 23, 2014

UAE national rugby team needs to look within to raise standards

While domestic clubs like Jebel Ali Dragons and Abu Dhabi Harlequins find regional success, the UAE national side isn't benefitting from the talent pool in the country, writes Paul Radley.

 Ravindra Jadeja of Chennai Super Kings playing a shot in their Indian Premier League win over Rajasthan Royals at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. Jadeja scored 36 runs not out from 33 balls. Pawan Singh / The National / April 23, 2014

In pictures: Chennai Super Kings notch win behind do-everything Jadeja

Images from Wednesday night's Indian Premier League match in Dubai, where Ravindra Jadeja led Chennai Super Kings over Rajasthan Royals.

 Suresh Raina has scored 84 runs in three IPL matches so far this season for Chennai Super Kings. Ravindranatah K / The National

Suresh Raina has always been brightest in Chennai yellow

An enigmatic presence in India's line-up, writes Osman Samiuddin, Suresh Raina is at his freest, his easiest and his best with the IPL's Chennai Super Kings.

 Azzam crew member Luke Parkinson works on the new 65-foot carbon racing yacht during preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race. Courtesy Ian Roman / ADOR

A little calm after the storm for Azzam crew

Azzam skipper Ian Walker writes another monthly update ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race as his crew enjoy a 10-day break after some rough conditions following their delivery from the UK to Portugal.

 Singapore have nearly half the side in home-grown players and prefer not to be reliant on expatriates. Sarah Dea / The National / April 23, 2014

Asian Five Nations: Singapore ideal model for impatient UAE’s rugby federation

The UAE Rugby Federation are keen for their national team to have such heavy Emirati representation. They have a good template to follow.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National