A documentary film entitled Venus Vs aired on ESPN a few days ago. I did not watch the piece, but from the previews I surmised it was about tennis great Venus Williams and her battle for equal prize money in women's tennis.ESPN surely planned this film to air during the final few days of it's Wimbledon coverage, highlighting the brave fight of one of America's most decorated athletes to gain equality in what has for more than a century been largely a "gentleman's game," most pointedly in the realm of compensation.
I'm not necessarily advocating for a change of the ladies format from best of 3 to best of 5, but just for honest consideration that the reward for winning these matches should not be equal (note: apparently many women's players are willing and in favor of moving to a best-of-5 format)
Mustn't tennis governing bodies consider the business of tennis? Ticket demand, sponsors, merchandise sales. Equal-pay advocates have argued that the women's game is more popular in many cases, and true, athletes like the Williams sisters carry a higher profile than most men's players. However, beyond them, and say, Sharapova, I think the high-profile scale has been tipping recently toward the boys.
Consider that over the course of today's men's match, Wimbledon was able to offer 5 times more commercial spots for their official sponsors, sell 5 times more overpriced bowls of strawberries and cream, and get a bunch more clips on SportsCenter.
And for what it's worth, I'm pulling for the German and the Scot in the finals.