The Beauty of Women’s Tennis
It is no news that, even with all the obvious evolution and achievements in the past years, which started with Billie Jean King’s fight for a fair pro tour, women’s tennis is still underrated. Being a coach and therefore around and updated with everything that involves the sport, it is not rare that I hear pejorative comments about the level of play, depth of the ranking, quality of the matches and so on and so forth.
First of all, the physical evolution of women professional tennis players has been remarkable over the past years. They are strong and fit as ever, faster in the courts and capable of providing long and high quality matches. They have become true athletes.
The technical evolution is also quite obvious. A few years ago we didn’t see girls hitting the ball as hard as they do today, making play more aggressive and points shorter, as opposed to long and boring rallies. This has definitely raised the level of play.
The level of commitment to getting better and professional attitude undertaken can be observed even by the most distracted. Even in the lower tier of the WTA and ITF tournaments, you will see players traveling with coaches, spending hours in the gym and on the courts, in a clear attempt to invest in their, careers.
Of course, an in-depth analysis of the women’s game involves more than watching the top players on TV play later rounds of major tournaments. It is necessary to know what the daily lives of the “yet unknown” top 400 or 500 is like in the circuit. Players that have to travel and play under pressure to make money only to get to the next tournament. This is where “real life” in professional tennis is and it is when the women start separating from the girls. It is a fantastic show that doesn’t catch the eye of the unacquainted and generate unfair and shallow comments.
Moreover, most of the negative statements come from comparison with men’s tennis! And this is where wrong begins! One of the great lessons to be learned in life is not to compare ourselves to others, to get better at something, but always compare us to ourselves only, answering the question “Am I better today than I was yesterday?” In this line of thinking, there is no reason to compare women’s tennis to men’s tennis. It is pointless and leads nowhere. What should only be looked at is what the girls have been doing and how much they have improved.
All of the evolution combined with the undisputed competitive nature of women, is capable of putting together an outstanding tour, with a high level of play all the way from the Future and Challenger events. It is time to truly appreciate and recognize what the women do, after all they provide great tennis for us to watch while bringing charm and beauty to the courts around the world.