It’s taken 15 years for the Indian Wells tennis tournament to put a racism row behind it.
With the Williams sisters ending their boycotts, the tournament was finally able to shake the memories of Serena being booed throughout the 2001 final and trophy presentation.
It was a moment to celebrate. Then tournament boss Raymond Moore opened his mouth. And for whatever reason, shared his view that women’s tennis rides on the coattails of the men’s game.
“If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because they have carried this sport,” he said.
It was a sitter, a half-baked half-court lob waiting to be put away. Serena gave it its due. “We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point,” was her withering response.
Besides, I’ve never seen Roger do this..
Moore apologised and duly resigned. Which should have been the end of the story.
But in the meantime, someone stuck a lazy microphone in front of Novak Djokovic.
“I’m completely for women power,” he said, picking his way carefully through the minefield. But he meandered way off script into the topic of equal pay. Which in Nole’s view shouldn’t be so equal.
Since then, the man with the best defences in the game has been sent scrambling all over the court by Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King, among others.
He’s grovelled, apologised, recanted, back-pedalled and no doubt wished he was in a better place, like playing five sets against Rafa on clay in 45 degrees. He might never speak about women’s tennis again.
Meanwhile, this year’s Tour de Yorkshire will pay the winning female cyclist more than the winning bloke. And hasn’t that set the cat among Twitter’s pigeons?
Russian sport has a whole new batch of drug problems to contend with.
Fresh from the meldonium and athletics doping scandals, The Times claims Russian swimming has had an organised drug program for the past decade, right down to a ‘poolside apothecary’ dispensing pills and medicines.
Russia’s wrestlers could find themselves in the Olympics sin bin after an internal investigation found multiple doping cases.
And the number of positive meldonium tests continues to rise. At least 16 Russian sportspeople have tested positive since January 1, though Russia’s R-Sport news agency puts the number as high as 40.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko continues to speak fluent Blatter on the matter. He has ruled out the notion of Russia missing the Rio Olympics. Like he has a say in it.
“No, it is nonsense,” he says. “No one raises a question in this way and no one will put it in such a manner.”
Reminds me a bit of this bloke.
One fella hoping to get to Rio is Aussie rugby international Nick Cummins, who had his first training session with Australia’s rugby sevens team in almost six years.
“There was a bit of black smoke but we got it done,” he said of the workout. Let’s hope he makes the squad. It’d be worth it for the post-match interviews alone.
For something completely random, here’s the downside of being a groundsman at the races.
The most shocking news this week was the revelation we’ve been holding our cricket bats the wrong way.
While we’ve all been playing with our dominant hand on the bottom of the handle, UK researchers say we should switch the hands and reverse the stance. Basically, right handers need to bat like lefties.
Wha…? Seriously, I haven’t been this flummoxed since Miranda Kerr told me I was conditioning the wrong end of my hair.
In news from the World Twenty20 overnight, Shane Watson has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket.
Imagine you’re a successful German soccer player. Life’s pretty good, isn’t it? Especially when you win 75,000 euros in a game of poker.
Then you leave it in the back of a cab. Your club fines you another 25,000 euros, just because, then your coach makes you quit your Nutella addiction. (Seriously, dude, you’re addicted to Nutella? Get it together.)
Max Kruse, this is your life.
On the subject of soccer, Qatar World Cup organisers have plan to accommodate fans in traditional Bedouin-style tents, to showcase ‘the hospitality and friendship of the Middle East’. Tents. Really? Tight arses.
And here’s a bit of frippery to finish the week.
Have a great Easter, everyone. Be nice to the bunny.