Well, it was supposed to be a bad women’s tournament. Wimbledon would miss the Belgians, the Williams were too good, end of story.<br /><br />Instead, we have an open field, with contenders everywhere. It could well be Mauresmo’s chance to land a major, which would be overdue and very welcome. Or Davenport’s last hurrah. Or Capriati, if she can overcome Serena today (a massive match). Or Serena could land her 3rd title in a row after a long injury layoff. Whatever the outcome, however, there is a new star. <br /><br />Maria Sharapova is a tabloid’s wet dream. She is tall, blonde, pretty, hits the ball extremely hard and makes strange little gasps and grunts. And she is 17. <br /><br />Not far behind is Golovin, who lost to Serena yesterday. Only 16, she was subjected to a pathetic critique of her hipster-style shorts by John Barrett and Virginia Wade. The oldies were surprised, to say the least. Frankly, she looked far better than Serena in that silly dress, and her shorts are actually far more modest than most tennis skirts, which always give in inadvertant flash of the knickers. And who the hell is Virginia Wade to comment on fashion? The clue is in the name.<br /><br />Tennis has been about the commoditisation and objectification of players ever since Borg was surrounded by screaming teenage girls. Players are there to sell products, tickets, and if they turn us on, so much the better. We are complicit in the process.<br /><br />The papers will love Sharapova, especially if she beats the less glam Devenport to get to the final. Men will find her sexy, and the fact that she is only 17 will be OK, because she is untouchable – surrounded by an entourage, in the papers and on a pedestal.<br /><br />There. A blog about sex in tennis and I haven’t even mentioned Kournikova.
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