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SBD/August 8, 2013/Events and Attractions
Rogers Cup Having Men Play Exhibitions At Women's Event In Effort To Drum Up Interest
Published August 8, 2013
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL: In Toronto, Ian Shantz writes at a press conference with Billie Jean King, it was "suggested that the women might feel slighted or offended by the men playing here, for money -- a concept that, by all accounts, was thought up as a revenue generator, to be used later on athlete resources." But King said, "I don’t think it matters. It’s tennis." WTA Chair & CEO Stacey Allaster said, "It's about generating money for the development of the sport. Ultimately, that's what it's about. I wouldn't get all fussed about it." WTAer Sloane Stephens said, "I think that sponsors just want to see more matches, see more people play. I don’t think it has anything to do with women not being entertaining" (TORONTO SUN, 8/8).
DOUBLE STANDARD? In N.Y., Ben Rothenberg wrote last week's Citi Open in DC, in its second year as a joint ATP-WTA event, "unabashedly gives preferential treatment to the men." Perhaps this is "most noticeable in the court assignments." At this year’s event, which ended Sunday, "23 men’s singles matches were played in the main stadium, compared with six for the women." Event organizers said that the men's event, "which has existed since 1969, is more established than the women’s event, which has existed in the Washington area for only three years." The men's event also "awards significantly more prize money and ranking points." But "perhaps the most notable difference this year was that the women were allowed to use the newly renovated indoor locker room facilities beneath the stadium." The men "had sole access to the indoor facilities last year, while the women used locker rooms, bathrooms and toilets in trailers and tents" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/5).