Looks, Not Talent, Determine Which Female Tennis Stars Play on Centre Court at Wimbledon

Michael Stich might have been on to something when he said that female tennis players are "just there to sell sex." Sunday evening, the All England Club admitted that physical attractiveness is taken into consideration when deciding which women will play on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

Spokesman Johnny Perkins said, "Good looks are a factor," adding, "It's not a coincidence that those (on Centre Court) are attractive."

Many of tennis' top female seeds have been relegated to lesser courts, while a string of easy-on-the-eyes unknowns have been appearing on Wimbledon's prime time court. On Friday, for example, second seed Serena Williams' match against Italy's Roberta Vinci was held on the new No. 2 court, while 8th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus went up against Romania's Sorana Cirstea (28th seed) on Centre Court. In this case, it's obvious that looks, rather than actual talent played a role in their placement.

The sparse crowds for the Azarenka vs. Cirstea match, however, are telling. It's pretty clear that the crowds attending the matches are far more knowledgable about the sport and it's players than are the BBC television audiences that they're designing the match-ups for.

A BBC source commented:

'It's the Wimbledon play committee, not us who decides on the order of play. But obviously it's advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court.

No one has heard of many of the women now, so if they are pretty it definitely gives them an edge. Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing figures."

Further evidence that the good looking players are being promoted to Centre Court over more talented, yet not as good looking players are demoted to the outer courts is evidenced. Centre Court featured on Wednesday the so called "Battle of the Babes", with unseeded Gisela Dulko (world rank 45) up against unseeded Maria Sharapova (world rank 60). And then on Thursday it was 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki against Maria Kirilenko (world rank 59) on Centre Court, while number one seed Dinara Safina was downgraded to an outer court.

Not everyone is pleased with the way the schedule is being done. Safina, 23, said "I mean of course it's not fair, but then I'm not doing the schedule."

French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, 24, is also upset by the scheduling, She commented:

'It's weird. If you look at the schedule, it's not only about me.
'It's about Dinara on Court No 2, Venus (Williams) on Court No 1 and the girls who are not very highly seeded they play on Centre.

'I respect them. They're great players for sure. But this is what's weird for me; what's their strategy, what's their plan of making the schedule?

'This is what surprises me a little bit.'

Serena Williams, who is used to being the center of attention and one of the sport's top players, even got lost on her way to finding the No. 2 court Friday. She was 10 minutes late for her match.

This would never happen with the men, where the top players - no matter how good looking or ugly they are - will always play on Centre Court.

Comments

Why watch "hot" girls who suck at tennis play tennis when there are so many other avenues in which men could watch pretty women on tv, if that's the reason they are scheduling it like that. The point is to watch competitive tennis at it's best. What they are doing by scheduling it that way is repulsive and hypocritical. They do the women's game no favors. And the author is right, this would NEVER happen with men no matter how repulsive they look. What matters with them is showing a competitive match between two good players. They are grossly underestimating the viewing public and what they yearn for when they see these matches (at least I hope they are).

Make no mistake about these hot tennis players: they can play. These are pros. Moreover, they were allowed to play in the most prestigious tournament in the world, Wimbledon, as well as other Grand Slam tournaments, not because of their looks, but because of their talent. Many of them may not be the best in the world, but they are better than most in the world. This means you can not only watch two hot girls go at it, but you can also watch some pretty decent tennis. Just because they are hot doesn't mean they can't play. So don't judge a book by its cover. Otherwise, you may be accused of being just as superficial is the Wimbledon committee.

They may be cute and blonde and curvey, but they can't play tennis like the William sisters. So put the great tennis players on Center Court.

Azarenka is number 8th in the World and cirstea 27 so they are hot but also good tennis players. Serena played against a player who's 55th in the world, so it wouldn't have been a real fight (Serena crushed Vinci) like Azarenka-Cirstea.

Btw Azarenka (she's 19) won over Williams a few times so she the future of this sport thogether with Cirstea, Wosniacki, cornet and others

Please please put players on centre court that can play the game. Do you not Value talent? Your Actions were deployable,insensitive and just plain UGLY UGLY.

This is worse than sitting in the back of the bus (aplace reserved for blacks during jim crow).

An Angry Fan!!

In tennis I love maria Sharapova. She has got beautiful body language and nice turning of the body. Nice post.

Re: Serena , not playing Center Court. Sounds like the article is saying "Black is not Beautiful"! Racism seems to be growing, no matter how hard and how much we acheive, it concludes that the #1 seed, Serena is not pretty enough to play Center Court. Amazing and blatant racism.

What Wimbledon is doing makes complete sense. I'm just surprised there hasn't been stronger protest against this society where the pressure to be politically correct is so great. But I must applaud the Wimbledon committee for being honest with themselves and with us by doing what they believe is right instead of succumbing to pressure to please a select few. They really hit the nail on the head here. I mean, wouldn't you rather watch a couple of hot girls battling it out than to see that beastly, loud-mouth, self-centered Serena Williams beat up on some qualifier in the round of 16? I sure would. And if I wanted to see the best in the world play, I'll watch the men.

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