Tennis: Backing for women
Saturday 27 June 1998
Bart McGuire, a soft-spoken lawyer who now heads the Women's Tennis Association, pointed out that the women's game was rich in personalities who adorn pop and fashion magazines, regularly outgun the men in television ratings and have made tennis a fashionable sport.
"The women on the tour are great players and great theatre," he said.
Tennis is showbusiness, he said, insisting that the sport was not being trivialised. "This is a sport, it is not microbiology. It is supposed to be fun," he said.
McGuire was referring to players like Anna Kournikova, who is is as famous for her looks as she is for her play, Venus and Serena Williams, the sisters dubbed "Ghetto Cinderellas" by their father, Monica Seles, who has fought back from the trauma of being stabbed, and Steffi Graf, who is battling back after being plagued by injuries and family problems.
Last year, 3.5 million people went to watch women play tennis, the highest figure ever. In television ratings, surveys aparently show that women beat the men by about 20 per cent every time.
"Indeed I have said - somewhat tongue in cheek - I could make a strong case that women could get higher prize money than the men," McGuire said.
He argues that more women worldwide are attracted to tennis and that racket technology has revolutionised the game.
Tennis, he believes, has learned the painful lessons of burn-out. The girls are brought on to the tour later and last longer. "They are phased in gradually - there is less risk of injury," he said.
Latest in Sport
Dan Hardy column: Is the hype around UFC sensation Conor McGregor justified?
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores ridiculous headed goal after blocking Moldova goalkeeper's clearance
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...