Sunday, 20 January 2013

So Women Don't Rate a Saturday Night Match?

Whoever came up with the hair brained idea to not play a women's singles match on Rod Laver Arena on the first Saturday night should no longer be in their job.
Consider the situation.  The tournament has reached almost half way and many people unable to make it along because of the working week plan to attend the weekend, and Saturday night is especially popular.

The price of the tickets is higher to reflect that the tournament has reached the third round so the expectation upon purchase is to see third round singles matches comprising in form players.

Yes we had the Federer Tomic match and that was well publicised and well received but what else did the public receive?  Which of the women's third round encounters did the high paying public enjoy on their Saturday night?  None if they brought a Rod Laver Arena ticket.  You would have had to own a ground pass or Rod Laver Arena Day ticket to see any of those.

So it must have been a good standard doubles match between the top seeds and another pairing?  No not even that.  It was a first round Mixed Doubles match between an unseeded Australian pair and the seventh seeded combination, and out of the four players probably one was known to some of the crowd.

Mixed Doubles has a place in Grand Slam tournaments because of its tradition, but there is no season long tour as there is for men's and women's singles and doubles.  Players get together four times a year and decide if they will have a go at the Mixed or not.  It may well be different partners each time.

The only time Mixed should ever be scheduled as part of a night ticket is at the semi or final stages when it really matters and the best teams have been sorted from the rest and trophies are about to be given out.

For Aus Open organisers to slap women's tennis in the face so brutally yet again is unforgivable, and treating the ever faithful public like dirt is shameful.

If the intention is to play just one match of importance plus basically a filler then don't insult our intelligence and promote the night as anything but less than the previous nights.  We might have seen Federer, but those on Thursday night also saw him and in addition a ripping three set women's match.  They paid less for heaps more.

For the record the Mixed Doubles was entertaining while not compulsive viewing and any doubles encounter features terrific reflex shots and volley exchanges.  The closeness also contributed to quite a few spectators remaining until its conclusion.

The seventh seed pairing of Andrea Hlavackova from the Czech Republic and Daniele Bracciali from Italy won in two tie breaks 7-6 7-6 over Aussies Casey Dellacqua and John-Patrick Smith.

Thankfully the women have been invited back to play on Sunday night.

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