A SIDEWAYS GLANCE: Anyone for Tennis?

Raymond Moore, in my estimation, is a very brave man indeed.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 3:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 4:42 pm
Martina Navratilova thinks that some women players might refuse to play Indian Wells next year.

You’ve never heard of him but Raymond is the chief executive of the Indian Wells professional tennis tournament who, this week, has gone public with his considered opinion that ‘women tennis players should go down on their knees every night and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born’!

The inference would seem to be that the women’s game is hanging on to the coattails of the male variety in terms of popularity and the equal pay issue.

There is absolutely no doubt that the men’s games bring infinitely more cash into the game in the form of gate receipts, sponsorship and attendances. And, with regard to the rewards issue, if we’re talking about equal pay for equal work, the ladies who only play three sets to the men’s five are on a very sticky wicket indeed!

Enter Martina Navratilova, a lady who is never found wanting when an opinion is needed. Martina thinks that some women players might refuse to play Indian Wells next year. As is my wont in these shark infested waters, I couldn’t possibly comment. But, as threats go, I can only quote the comment of leading sports journalist, Martin Samuel. “This is Robert De Niro threatening not to make Dirty Grandpa 2”.

But maybe I’ve spoken too soon for, even as I write, news comes through that Mr Moore has been forced to fall on his sword. Free speech, it seems, comes at a price. Truly, hell hath no fury. . . !