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  • I read with interest that Vera Zvonareva has been appointed as a promoter for equality for the WTA tour. So presumably her first task is to agree that from now on women will play best of five sets in Slams as that is what men do for equal money? After all if this was any other business in the world lawsuits would inevitably follow.

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    • you know Bobito i would be very interested in seeing a sample of 100 matches of womens top 10 to a sample of mens top 10 (those are the people winning grandslams anyways), and see what the results are it would be pretty interesting, but also dont forget that chasing down a delpo, gonzo, or verdasco forehand quickly wears you down compared to chasing down most of the women's forehand.

    • Football4life - Actually I took the longest men's match and longest women's match from the 2nd week of Wimbledon. Admittedly the Federer Roddick match was a little more crash bang wallop than most men's matches.

      But take the Henin Sharapova match, which went on for around three and a half hours. The comparison with the Federer Nadal Wimbledon final was a fair one. Nadal Federer 2008 had more closely contested games than any men's match I have ever seen and I doubt whether you will find a modern men's match where the games were longer. Yet the average game length of the Henin Sharapova match was almost 50% longer than in Nadal Federer, even with Nadal's ridiculous time wasting.

      Perhaps the WTA should commision a proper comparison using a reasonable sample size to back up their case. It might be interesting to see just how much longer the games in women's tennis are.

    • and kmf yeah i think you have a point we are probably not going to reach an agreement on this one, you obviously prefer women's tennis and i obviously prefer men's tennis.

    • Oh cmon Bobito thats unfair you took the match where it was pretty much serve and point and used it to make a general reflection of the entire men's tennis, it seemed more like you had a result in mind and used the match that would support it to use as the test, i think you will find that this kind of match is not the majority of mens matches and women are not on court as much as the men Bobito, men sometimes go into 4 hours when do women do that?

    • Football4life - you have misunderstood my point. I am not saying, as you put it "that women put in the same effort in a 3 set win as the men put in a 5 set win". My point is that women spend as much TIME PLAYING TENNIS in a 3 set match as men do in a 5 setter. To say "men play 5 sets and women only play 3, therefore men play 66% longer than women" is oversimplified and incorrect.

      I looked up one of my older posts in a similar debate just after Wimbledon, when I sat down with a calculator and worked it out. Here is what I wrote back then.

      "Federer and Roddick belted down 77 aces between them on Sunday and at least as many unreturned serves. That's about two and a half sets worth of tennis right there. Women play longer points and more deuce games.

      To illustrate this, I've been busy on my calculator, and come up with a few interesting stats. In the Federer/Roddick final of Sunday, the average length of a game (taking into account changeovers) was 2.56 minutes. In the Williams/Dementieva semi the games averaged 3.59 minutes. At 5-5 in the final set, Federer and Roddick had been playing for no longer than Williams and Dementieva did.

      Take two other examples, that are known as classics that were hard fought all the way through. Last year's Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer had an average game length of 3.87 minutes (although a time violation warning was issued for slow play). In the 2007 WTA final between Henin and Sharapova the games averaged 5.42 minutes.

      Had the games in the Federer/Roddick match been as closely fought as the Henin/Sharapova one, it would have gone on for almost 8 hours. Only cricketers play for that long and even they stop for lunch and afternoon tea. "

    • I think we will never agree. If I have a choice between a match involving top level women playing 3 sets and another one involving top level men playing 5 sets, I will choose to watch the women. So just because the men are playing 5 sets does not mean they will garner more interest than the women who play 3 sets. Some people prefer men tennis, some prefer women tennis and some others like both.

      A 3 setter can produce the same level of fan interest and satisfaction as much as a 5 setter. Will I pay more to watch men play 5 sets than if they played 3 sets. No. Just like I will not pay more to watch a marathon than a 100 metre dash. People generally do not base the matches they watch on whether it is a 3 setter or a 5 setter so why will anyone compensate the men more?

      You know, there is also an economic argument that can be made to pay the men less. Because they play 5 sets and since it takes much longer for a winner to emerge, it is more expensive for the tournaments. Can you imagine how much more it costs - security, the officials, use of the courts and all the resources of the courts? It could be one of the reasons why lots of men tournaments are only 3 setters.

    • ok now we are starting to see some common ground, you said that in grandslam events pay is based on performance and not the interest they generate (since a grandslam means alot to players it has leverage), and i agree with that wholeheartedly. now the difference is i believe that winning a 5 set match is a bigger achievement than winning a 3 set match, some players are fast and can drive you crazy chasing everything down (murray, simon) others have rocket launchers for arms (delpo, roddick) and others are surgically precise (fed, davydenko) every player uses the tools he or she has and should not be punished for it, i feel that equal pay for women for 3 sets instead of 5 is unfair to the men who play 5 sets and are on-court often for 3+ hours.

    • Football4life, this is the second time I am responding to this same comment from you - what I am saying is that tennis is a business and so prize money should be based on the income generated by tournaments unless they want to bankrupt the their business. In my opinion, the women's prize money should be based on the money generated by the women and same for the men. I do not believe in cross subsidisation. But in grand slams, both women and men play at the same time so segregating the income generated by men and women is almost impossible.

      Prize money as in all sports is based on performance and that should be the case. In some sports, some athletes are recruited specifically for an event and given a fee. It is done in golf in some countries (this is not allowed on the PGA). It is also common in athletics. It is done because they think the presence of that particular athlete will help to promote the event and also grow the sport. If some tennis events want to pay appearance fee to someone, I do not have anything against it. However there's no way elite events like the grand slams will pay anyone appearance fees since the athletes need those events more than the events need them. So even if Federer generates more interest than Davydenko, the grand slams are not going to pay him any extra money for that. If Federer wants to use his popularity to make more money, he can partake in exhibition matches or product endorsements (which he currently does). This is all part of the free market economy.

    • ah not really, so kmf your point is pay based on the income generated pay should be distributed, so my point is certainly Fed generates more interest and money for a tournement than Davydenko so he Fed should be paid more for a win than the russian, whats your opinion on that? and Bobito you say that women put in the same effort in a 3 set win as the men put in a 5 set win, so if pay is based on effort put in shouldnt hewitt be paid more than roddick? since all of hewitts points are grinding while roddick's are short.

    • Football4life - you say "just like a little teenaged child changing the subject and attacking personally when you feel the point is lost". Since the only person doing that on this topic is yourself, can we take that you are now conceding that you are wrong on this issue?

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