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SBD/Issue 196/Events & Attractions
Does Physical Attractiveness Factor Into Wimbledon Scheduling?
Published June 30, 2009
|Did Good Looks Have A Part In No. 28 Seed
Cirstea Playing A Match On Centre Court?
BEHIND THE BASELINE: In Sydney, Swanton & Hinds report Perkins "later denied" saying that good looks are a factor in match scheduling. Perkins: "Looks per se are not taken into account." But Perkins "acknowledged 'box office appeal' was one of 28 points considered when courts were allocated." Former Australian Federation Cup captain John Alexander said of considering looks when booking matches, "That is an extraordinary thing to do. ... It is absolutely and totally inappropriate. We are talking about Wimbledon, the holiest place there is in tennis. It is absolutely absurd and I cannot believe it is the case." Alexander added, "I can absolutely swear that at the Australian Open, it has only ever been done on the quality of the tennis" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/30). Perkins said, "We don't look at a player and say she is attractive or he is attractive, therefore they play on the big court. But if a player is deemed to be popular, for whatever reason, they are more likely to be on one of the bigger courts" (PA, 6/29).
CHAUVINISTIC ATTITUDE: Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said, "Shocked chauvinism rears its ugly head. I'm just stunned." ESPN's Michael Wilbon added, "Are the 'Page Three' editors now making the decisions for the Wimbledon play committee?" Ryan: "I really am shocked, though, that anyone would admit a thing like this publicly. I don't know how this ever got out, how they ever came to the point where they would really admit something that is particularly as juicy as this. This is outrageous." Ryan also said, "Since when is Serena not hot?" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/29).