Earlier this week, we reported how tennis commentator Michael Stich ruffled a few feathers when he, um, commented about how women players at Wimbledon are there to “sell sex” (well, not literally). Although it sounds sexist & unfair, it seems there’s a kernel of truth to his statement. And maybe not just a kernel, but a whole bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn.
(Victoria Azarenka vs. Sorana Cirstea - low Wimbledon rankings, but high Wimbledon ratings)
Turns out that when selecting which match-ups will play at Wimbledon’s Centre Court, it’s not always the higher-seeded ladies that get to play in the main arena. Instead, it’s the lower-seeded cuties that are often the ones courted to take Centre stage.
The DAILY MAIL serves up a couple of examples of beauty over backhands when it comes to the Centre of attention. Matches at Centre Court have included Victoria Azarenka (seeded 8th) vs. Sorana Cirstea (seeded 28th), Gisela Dulko (ranked 45th) vs. Maria Sharapova (ranked 60th), and Caroline Wozniacki (seeded 9th) vs. Maria Kirilenko (ranked 59th).
(Centre Court worthy: Maria Kirilenko)
In the meantime, the ladies who were regulated to the lesser courts include Venus & Serena Williams, #1 seed Dinara Safina, and recent French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The All-England Club, the group that runs Wimbledon, admits that when scheduling the showdowns for Centre Court, physical attractiveness is taken into consideration. As spokesman Johnny Perkins explained:
“Good looks are a factor … It’s not a coincidence that those (on Centre Court) are attractive.”
(Centre Court worthy: Gisela Dulko)
And the BBC is just fine with that. As one network source reveals:
“It’s the Wimbledon play committee, not us who decides on the order of play. But obviously it’s advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court. No one has heard of many of the women now, so if they are pretty it definitely gives them an edge. Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing figures.”
Guess Mike was right all along. Just chalk it up to another case of the Anna Kournikova syndrome. Except these gorgeous girls actually seem to succeed somewhat in their sport.