Like most Australians, January is the month where my TV screen is dominated by either tennis or cricket. It’s a fantastic time of year. You’re pretty much guaranteed that any time you turn on the TV, some top line sporting matchup will be ready for you to watch.
I also got the chance to see the most dominant female sports star of the past 20 years, Serena Williams, in action the other day.
Playing at the Brisbane International, Serena was up against an up-and-coming young American player Sloane Stephens.
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Time for a Saturday pop quiz. Question: Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki stuffs paper down her top and pants in order to parody her friend, curvy black player Serena Williams. She struts around, showing off her great fake big boobs and butt to the cheers of fans. Is this racism?
Question. Some Sydney pubs tell men to “give the wife a rest” because the “Carlton Draught girls” will do their ironing. It’s part of a promotion offering drinkers who bought a schooner a free ironed shirt. Is this sexism?
We’ll get to the answers in a minute.
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Sorry Maria Sharapova but being hot just isn’t enough. The tennis world has lead the way in gender equality, with the current Grand Slam Wimbledon, for example, introducing equal prize money for the men’s and women’s singles titles in 2007.
This is despite the fact the women only play to 3 sets and the men play to 5. Anyone who has ever watched a Grand Slam will agree there is a huge difference between a five-set battle and a three-setter.
Sharapova maintains the equal pay was hard won. “We women have fought so long to get equal prize money,” the Russian champion said overnight. “It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us. It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten that. We’re all really proud of it, and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger.”
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The racquets smashed by Marcos Baghdatis in last night’s Australian Open outburst have spoken out exclusively about the pain, the hurt and the trauma of racquet abuse.
“This sort of thing should never be tolerated,” said a severely twisted and broken T-Flash 315 Speedflex who preferred to remain anonymous.
“I don’t care if you’re at the Australian Open, Wimbledon or the Kazakhstan Invitational,” the racquet said. “It is simply never acceptable to abuse a racquet in this way.
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On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, you wouldn’t have thought an American would be booed by their own crowd at a major sporting event in New York City. Yet Serena Williams achieved exactly this.
In normal circumstances, the story of the day would have been Sam Stosur’s straight sets US Open victory, which made her the first Ausralian woman in to win a Grand Slam event since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon way back in 1981.
But Williams changed the whole tone of the event with a foul outburst at the umpire. Among other filth she said “You’re out of control” and “You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside.” We just wish the umpire had returned serve with that old schoolyard taunt “I know you are but what am I?”
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Talented, graceful Gold Coaster Sam Stosur has won her maiden grand slam title against probably the most ill-tempered so-called sportsperson ever to play any game.
Stosur beat Williams 6-2 6-3 in an incredible display of power tennis, launching blistering forehand after forehand, as Serena Williams resorted to umpire abuse in a vain attempt to disrupt her opponent.
Incredibly, on America’s day of national mourning, the Williams antics backfired and the New York crowd turned against one of its own. The Big Apple knows a bad apple when it sees one.
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This afternoon non-Aussie Kim Clijsters became the first person to win the US Open from a wild card entry and the first mother to win a Grand Slam since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. Her victory was cool on so many levels - not least of all she let her racquet do the talking - and not by throwing it at a lineswoman.
Clijsters made it into the final after beating Serena Williams in the match that could cost Williams her popularity. The sight of one of the most successful tennis players of all time baring down on a tiny lines woman after a fair and square ruling of foot fault was ugly to say the least.
But Clijsters kept her cool, and just five weeks after returning to the circuit from a 27-month break she was back - the woman we were once so close to being able to claim as our own.
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