Scrolling though the draws in this year’s Wimbledon, I couldn’t help notice the stark difference between the ladies and gentlemen’s section of the draws. While there was diversity and an open playing field on one side, the other had very predictable favourites (FYI – mine are the Swiss ones). While there is a significant amount of diversity at one end, the other lacks any succession plan.
With so many inspirational players in the gentlemen’s draw belonging to one generation, I wonder how long this can be sustained. When they all retire en mass, I often doubt if I would take an interest in tennis.
The ladies, though, give me much hope. The story of Wimbledon so far is definitely about a certain fifteen year old, Cori Gauff who played her idol, Venus Williams on Court No.1 on her very first Grand Slam. From her shot making, to how she handled the big stage, and her humility thereafter — thanking Venus after the match — is awe-inspiring.
I hope she goes on to achieve many more wins (she plays later today) and retains her focus, grace and composure.
Earlier today, I learnt about the number of moms (Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Evgeniya Rodina, Maria Martínez Sánchez & Mandy Minella) playing on the circuit. It amazes me how these players continue to compete at the highest level, digging up reserves, beating not just physical strains but also fighting a patriarchal system. There are far more fathers on the tour, as compared to mothers, who are forced to quit due to lack of child-care facilities at most courts around the world (barring the four grand slams).
Mother’s Day may have gone by several weeks ago, but these heroes do not need a specific day to celebrate them.
Thank you, ladies, for inspiring us with your grit and determination.
Related read: some other posts I’ve written about tennis.