Wimbledon Winners: A backhand for Bartoli

It’s all over for another year! And I am already feeling the Wimbledon-shaped hole in my life. Sob. No more Sue Barker to welcome me home from work, no more John Inverdale to fill me in on what I’ve missed, no more Tim Henman, desperately trying to make people forget he was never actually that good… (sorry, that was a bit mean).

But then it hasn’t all quite blown over, has it. First and foremost – we have a winner!


I was really rooting for Murray. This was his year. It had to be! Just like he did, I choked up during his runner-up speech last summer, shaking my fist at Federer smug in the background… He’s come from scowly scot to GB hero, and quite rightly too! I hope you all managed to catch the fantastic documentary on “The Man Behind The Racquet”, which they showed again on Monday night.  It really showed a new side to him – the one we started to see during That Speech last summer. While it might have seemed unexpected for someone we’ve always thought of as pretty, well, grumpy, to court attention like that, I think he’s doing it so that he’s “done enough” for the media to leave him alone to walk the dogs. I don’t really see him becoming a media luvvy or a commentator (*cough* Henman… who, by the way, needs to accept that this will always be funny). I reckon he’s more likely to join with his mum in promoting tennis to the next generation. Or just have a holiday!!

So yes, well done Andy. But in the aftermath of the Champions Ball, there’s a couple of things that need clearing up. Firstly, this:


Hmmm. Yes. Quite.

Which leads me nicely to this: John Inverdale’s comments about this year’s Ladies Singles Champ, Marion Bartoli. Which I’m sorry to say I can only describe as moronic.

This piece from The Guardian puts it rather nicely:

“…after winning the women’s singles title, Radio 5 Live presenter John Inverdale thought it an adequate moment to comment on her appearance – what else? “Do you think,” he mused moronically, “Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a [Maria] Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?”

Err, I’m sorry. What!?

I’ve talked before about the sexism around women in sport. Ugh… it just makes me so angry. This is 2013, people. 2013! Why are we still having these same conversations? This woman has just achieved the absolute pinnacle in her field, the prize that everyone assumed already had Serena’s name on. The equivalent of the feat that Andy Murray is being lauded for a knighthood. Yet what do we come back to? How she looks.

Not that matters, because it doesn’t – it could not in fact matter any less – there is absolutely nothing wrong with her looks. Neither is there with Serena’s, despite her obvious strength and power often being derided. I’m sorry, this is tennis, not ballet. Strength and power = winning, here. And isn’t that the point?


Weirdly, a friend of mine who also watched the Murray doc said that, scrubbed and suited, he’s starting to look “actually quite attractive”. Interesting, isn’t it, that a man who must have success to appear attractive, but a woman must appear attractive to be successful?


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