Should Men’s Tennis Players Get Paid More Than the Women?

Last month Gilles Simon infuriated women all over the internet when he made comments that men’s tennis players should get paid more at Grand Slam events than women. Simon commented, “My point was that I have the feeling that men’s tennis is actually more interesting than women’s tennis. As in any business or anything, you just have to be paid just about that. It’s not because we play five sets and they are playing three.”

Without further clarification it is impossible to know whether Simon’s opinion was out of sexism, greed or based completely on good arguments but everybody assumes it is either A or B because they also assume that C isn’t true. Except, it is true.


For somebody that does watch tennis-but also has absolutely no problem with women getting paid as much as men-Simon’s point that men’s tennis is more interesting than women’s tennis is an opinion that is shared by most tennis fans. Not everyone that thinks men’s tennis is more interesting than women’s tennis is automatically a horrible human being that sees women as inferior beings.

Most women making the argument for women’s tennis brought up Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. There is no doubt that Sharapova and Serena are huge stars. Sharapova happens to be one of my favorites and I don’t know anybody that was happier for her French Open win than I was. That being said, Sharapova suffered a serious shoulder injury just a few years ago. Sharapova missed a year and half and even after she came back she wasn’t one hundred percent for a long time.

Sharapova’s French Open victory has probably been the most underrated story of 2012 but the reason it’s such a great story is because Sharapova had little relevance in women’s tennis for a long period of time.


Serena just won Wimbledon but in the last nine Grand Slam events Serena only had two good outings. For those using Sharapova and Serena as examples of why women’s tennis is exciting that argument is invalid. In the last two and a half years there has been little to no Sharapova or Serena. There are some other women’s tennis players that are fun to watch-like Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and others-but women’s tennis has been full of underachieving, inconsistent players and Grand Slam semi-finals filled with players that don’t impress much of anybody.

On the men’s side tennis fans are watching possibly the best trio of men’s tennis players of all-time in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray has a constantly growing fanbase due to his teary not-good-enough speeches after losses at Grand Slam events. Men’s tennis has young, electrifying players like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga waiting to break through. Then there are the American men. Personally I’m not a fan of any of them but they are a draw for the fans that do cheer for players from their home country.

If you need further proof that men’s tennis is more interesting to fans than women’s tennis than look no further than the ratings. The women’s final of Wimbledon-even with Serena-managed a 2.0 rating while the men’s final notched a 2.5 rating. In fact, the Wimbledon final between Federer and Murray was the highest rated tennis match that ESPN has ever aired. Although, that is the highest rated match on ESPN because ESPN does not usually get the Finals of Grand Slams. The men’s Grand Slam event-no matter who it is-regularly gets the same rating. Women’s tennis is fortunate that Serena or Sharpova have been in the last five Grand Slam finals because without either one of them the women’s final would not receive a 2.0.

Simon’s admission that his argument wasn’t because of the number of sets was because that is the argument that most people make. Women play best-of-three sets that last somewhere between one and a half to two and a half hours. Men play best-of-five sets that last somewhere between three hours and five hours.

I’m sure some people will ignore all of the completely logical points that I’ve stated and accuse me of being a sexist even though that isn’t true. As I said at the top of the article, I’m completely fine with the women making as much as the men, but if you don’t think there is a completely valid reason for someone to make the argument that men should be paid more then you’re just not paying attention to tennis very closely.

Tennis Strategy Tips for the Advanced Doubles Player


The game of tennis becomes more of a battle of strategy than technique once a certain skill level is reached. It is critical for an advanced tennis player to incorporate specific strategies that maximize their strengths while at the same time minimizing their weaknesses. Doubles teams will also have a collective strength and weakness skill set. The following tips should be added to any serious doubles player’s repertoire.


TIP 1: Serve and Volley


At any level, serving is the most important stroke in a tennis player’s game. Now most players can not hit a serve 140 mph; however, speed is not nearly as important as placement is in doubles. Doubles players should be focused on where their serve goes and not how fast it goes. Once a player has command of service placement, they can now and a new wrinkle to their serve, which is the volley. Coming in and charging the net after a well placed served will add more pressure on the returner to hit an effective low return while at the same time protecting their partner. Serving down the middle will allow your partner the opportunity to poach (discussed later in this article), while serving out wide will allow your partner to really hug the line. Another key to an effective serve and volley is developing a solid and consistent half volley. Remember when serving and volleying, you will get passed some. The key is to keep the pressure on and make the returner pass you every time. This is extremely difficult to accomplish. So keep pressing forward!

TIP 2: Chip and Charge


In response to the serve and volley, returners can also add pressure to the server by chipping and charging. To be an effective chipper, a player needs to be sure to practice not only their slices but also moving forward and attacking the serve as it comes into the box. Movement is the key when chipping and charging. Another good tactic when using this play is to chip low and crosscourt. Keeping the ball low will force the server to hit the ball up. This should force a weak and high return, which should allow your partner to pounce and end the point. Chipping the return crosscourt will also keep the server’s partner at home since this is a difficult ball to poach.

TIP 3: Poaching


Poaching is another great tactic for the advanced doubles team to bring into play. The goal here is to get the server’s partner involved in the point immediately so that they can end it. Serving placement is vital for this tactic to work successfully! Letting your partner know where the serve will be placed gives them that extra bit of time to move and intercept a return. Again it is crucial to be committed to this play. Go if you are supposed to go. Any hesitation on the poacher’s part will undoubtedly cost that team the point. This play will also force the returner to mix up their returns and have to thinkmore about their return placement.

TIP 4: Lob Return


Probably the most hated of shots, the lob can be a truly effective weapon in the returner’s arsenal. Hitting a lob on the return of serve is a very effective way to not only stop poaching but it also has the potential to move the net person back to the baseline even before the serve is hit! Any time a player can take their opponent out of their comfort zone, the advantage clearly lies with that player. Practicing the lob is so very important. Remember also that you want this lob to land near the baseline. It is far better to hit this lob long than to leave it short and get your partner killed with the subsequent overhead! This shot is also great to come in behind (only if it is deep lob). If you do charge the net off of this shot, keep in mind not to close in to tight because a lob back will most likely be your opponent’s response.

Practicing and using these tactics are fun and will certainly provide more variety to the advanced tennis player’s doubles game. Don’t be afraid to miss a few shots or get passed a few times. Again tennis is basically a game of statistics. You are playing the odds that you will win more points than you lose. So hit the courts and have fun!

Serving Tips for the Advanced Tennis Player


Once a tennis player reaches the 4.0 and above level, the serve not only becomes a critical part of their game but a weapon as well. At this level, the player needs to have confidence that not only will their serve not hurt them but get them some free points as well. The four major components to a truly effective serve at this level are consistency, accuracy, spin, and power. This article will discuss each of these points as well as providing some helpful tips to master each one.

Consistency is the most important attribute a tennis player can have. Being able to hit any and all shots in on a regular and reliable basis is critical to this game, especially with respect to the serve. By this level, players should be hitting first serves in at approximately 60%. The percentage for good second serves is 90%. A helpful tip to keep in mind is find a power level that you can hit comfortably and maintain these percentages. Which player is more effective, the player that can hit the ball 140mph but only make 3 of 10 in or the player that hits 90mph and makes 7 out of 10 in? Remember the ball has to be in to win.

Accuracy is the second most important attribute of a truly effective serve. A useful tip in developing accuracy on the serve is to now divide the service box into three distinct zones. By using plastic cones or something similar, the player can make two lines extenCrow-Canyon-Country-Club-Danville-CA-tennis-kid-s560x310_singleImageding st servers into each of the three zones, playing close attention to yourfrom the net to the service line to divide the service box into a forehand zone, a center/body zone, and a backhand zone. Practice hitting fir percentages discussed in the consistency section. Then practice hitting second serves into all three zones, again following your consistency percentages.

The next factor to consider is spin. Adding different spins to the serve will add variety to any player’s serve and add an extra dimension as well. There are different types of spin that can be imparted on the serve; generally a slice or topspin is used. It is very important that a player seek the advice and guidance of their local teaching professional when learning to add spin to their service game. One tip that can be used by players to learn topspin is to try serving over the fence. Take a few balls and stand next to the fence that surrounds a tennis court. Be sure to stand back roughly the distance from the baseline to the net. Also be sure to be careful when practicing this. It is very possible and likely that you will serve a ball into one of the fence poles and it will ricochet back at you! Another tip for hitting spin is to take your time and really watch how your serve spins and bounces after you hit it. Knowing how the ball should be bouncing will give you feedback as to whether or not you hit it correctly.

Finally all players, men and women alike, want to hit the ball hard. Remember though that as you add power you also increase the chance of making a mistake. Power should always be the last thing a player adds to any of their shots. Also remember flat serves will travel faster than balls with spin on them. A good way to practice hitting flat serves hard is to serve by standing at the service line. Practice hitting the serve hard and remember that it still must go into the correct service box. Gradually move back towards the baseline all the while hitting hard flat serves. Keep your first serve percentages from the consistency section in mind. Again, it doesn’t matter how hard you can hit if the ball never lands in play.

In conclusion, advance players need to have confidence in their serves, both first and second. Practice is key to developing consistency, accuracy, spin, and power on the serve. At this level, the serve is no longer just to start a point and a player should no longer be happy just to get the serve in. Make you serve, both first and second, a weapon and enjoy the fruits of you labor in the way of tons of free points and victories.

Rising Tennis Stars of 2013


David Goffin – Goffin spent the majority of the 2012 season qualifying into tournaments. Sometimes qualifying can be a good thing, he qualified into Roland Garros, were he achieved his highest slam result, a round of 16, in which he lost to his idol Roger Federer. He’s currently 46 in the rankings, yet it seems things are only looking up for Goffin. In this first week of the 2013 season, he’s in the 2nd round of Brisbane where he will face Jurgen Melzer.

Laura Robson – Fresh off of a silver medal in mixed doubles at the London Olympic Games in her home country, along with wins over Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open. This 18-year-old from Great Britain hopes to continue her success at major tournaments. In her first week of play Robson lost to Niculescu 2-6, 3-6 in Shenzhen, China. Yet, it seems Robson may perform better on bigger stages, so look for her to possibly tear through the draw at the Australian Open the same way she did at the US Open.

Ryan Harrison – The majority of tennis fans, especially Americans, have heard this name mentioned many times before. Yet, Harrison still has not made the major breakthrough he and his fans have hoped for. Harrison didn’t end 2012 on a high note, he ended up ranked 69 while his highest ranking is 43. Harrison has certainly not started the year off well either losing to Tommy Robredo in the first round at Brisbane. Yet, if a player is incredibly hyped certainly his breakthrough must come soon? It seems 2013 may just be Harrison’s breakout year. But, fans may have to wait a while because Harrison normally peaks during the American summer season, which will surely put him in good form come the 2013 US Open.

Monica Puig – With an excellent display of her playing style in Brisbane against the number four seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, this 19-year-old from Puerto Rico is poised to turn heads in 2013, if she hasn’t done so already. Puig certainly isn’t afraid to play with top seeds, she goes for her shots, and this will certainly pay off in the long run. She also has a great sense of country pride and this was on display when she reached the final of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, losing to Irina Falconi in the final, but beating American Christina McHale along the way. Her fighting spirit for herself and her country could lead her to the top 100 and beyond in 2013.

Jerzy Janowicz – Janowicz made a name for himself in 2012 when he reached the final of the Master’s 1000 event in Paris. Along the way he beat Cilic, Murray, Tipsarevic, and Simon. Certainly not an easy draw, he eventually lost 4-6, 3-6 to David Ferrer. That excellent run left him in the 26 spot in the rankings. Yet, will Janowicz be able to continue results like Paris in 2013? Of course only time will tell, but it seems that if Janowicz picks and chooses his tournaments wisely (indoor hard court tournaments in Europe) he’ll be able to maintain his ranking and possibly go even further.

The Five Most Important ATP Tennis Stories of 2012


In 2012, ATP men’s tennis was one of the most exciting sports to watch. Although the top ten ranked players stayed relatively the same, there was still some significant individual accomplishments throughout the year.


These are the top five tennis stories of 2012:

Andy Murray Winning the Gold: In July, Andy Murray impressed the home crowd by becoming the first Brit to play in the Wimbeldon final in 74 years. Sadly, he lost to Roger Federer, in four sets, in one of the most painful matches ever played. He had the weight of Great Britain on his shoulders. When the game ended and Murray tearfully congratulated Federer, it just seemed that not winning the big matches was to become Murray’s fate. Fast forward a month later, in London, at Wimbeldon, this time the London Olympics. Murray continued to breeze through and re-met Federer at the same spot, but with more satisfying results. Murray stated that the Olympic win was the “biggest win” of his tennis career. He took this new winning strategy and beat Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open, for his first Grand Slam win.

The Czech Team Wins Davis Cup: The Davis Cup finals was between Spain and the Czech Republic and although the big talk was that Spain had to play without superstar Rafael Nadal, it was Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych that shined. Both Czech players played with such grit and determination, that this underdog team became one of the most exciting ATP stories of 2012. Berdych has proven that he is the player to watch and he promises to continue to play some incredible tennis in 2013.

Andy Roddick Retiring: Andy Roddick surprised the tennis world by announcing his retirement after the U.S. Open. Although it has been several years since his last Grand Slam win, Andy’s retirement and Mardy Fish’s health issues have suddenly made tennis fans wonder what is next for American men’s tennis. Many of us fear that there will be a drought, as in Australia, since Patrick Rafter retired. Although there are a few young players that have potential, there does not seem to be the same sort of hope and optimism as there was a decade ago when Pete Sampras retired and Andre Agassi was at the end of his career. As 2012 comes to a close, who will be the next American men’s tennis great is the impossible

Novak Djokovic is Number One: After years of Roger Federer dominating the ATP Rankings, Serbian Djokovic has spent nearly all of 2011 and now, 2012 at number one. Djokovic has proven consistency and mastery of the game of tennis. Assuming he does not experience any injuries, Djokovic could easily spend another year at the top, although it is obvious that Andy Murray is looking at his spot and is determined to replace him. This should lead to more spectacular tennis in 2013!

When Will Roger Federer Retire: Smooth and stylish, Federer breezed through Wimbeldon and looked like a champion. Yet, a month later, at the gold medal London Olympic match, Federer looked limp, as Murray confidently defeated him. Not to diminish Andy Murray’s magnificent match, Federer never seem to get his groove. In 2010, there was a lot of speculation that Federer would retire, yet he said that he was not ready to join Roddick in leaving the tennis grind.