The 2012 Australian Tennis Open starts today and is set to offer the highest prize money in the history of Grand Slam tennis around the world. The total prize pool will be A$26 million, with the men’s and women’s champions taking home a record A$2.3 million (US$2.18 million) each. Does that sound excessive to you?
It may be because I am not a great tennis fan, but I cannot see why we need to give the players that much money. As it is a grand slam event, you don’t need to offer large amounts to entice players to come and play. The winner of any tennis grand slam event will probably boost their off-court earnings more than that anyway by being more marketable.
Some of you probably will not agree with my next comment (and that’s OK). Another thing that bugs me is that the event organizers have decided that both the men’s and women’s champions will earn the same amount (in 2007 Wimbledon decided to do the same), despite more interest in the men’s side of the tournament, with longer more entertaining games, and consequently better revenue-raising potential.
I’ll still be watching the men’s final, and afterwards, I hope they can give a little back of their millions to the grassroots of their sport.
Young Australian rising star tennis player Bernard Tomic had a few complaints after his second-round match at the Australian Open against Marin Cilic finished at 2.10am local time. The 17-year-old Tomic was given a wildcard into the tournament and played well against the vastly more experienced 14th seed Croatian, pushing him to five sets over the course of three hours and 48 minutes. However, Tomic let himself down and embarrassed many Australians with his comments after the match.
He said that if he got the daily schedule as requested, that “I think I should have won” … “I can’t see after 1.00am, 2.00am for a 17-year-old to go out and play – It’s difficult.” Welcome to the big world. There are other players who have been playing at these times and winning tournaments.
If he wants to be a top 10 player, which he says he does, he will have to learn to handle playing at any time, and he will need to learn to be more gracious in defeat. No excuses.
Yesterday at the Australian Tennis Open we were witnesses to a Mexican Wave out on one of the smaller courts. An audience wave can come around pretty quickly in a small tennis stadium. They also had a double wave going, the wave going in alternate directions and seemingly passing through each other – I had not seen that before. I have also heard of crowds coming up with combinations, changing speed, and bouncing back in the direction it came.
A few stadiums are discussing the option of stopping audiences from making the wave, as it is considered dangerous. Although this wave at the tennis was just a ripple as far as waves go, I would have to agree that they can be dangerous when people start throwing objects and drinks as the wave passes, and it can be distracting if you are trying to watch a game being played.
If they can control it so that waves are only done during breaks in the games, and stop people from dangerous throwing of objects.
It may be easier said than done, as a log day at the cricket or tennis, after a few beers, people will think they can get away with whatever they want.