Poor Roger Federer

With only the ATP Finals left, an exciting season of men’s tennis is winding down. Anything can happen, but Novak Djokovic just defended all his points at the Paris Masters, leaving a small chance of Roger Federer regaining the number one ranking. Stan Wawrinka won the Australian Open and Marin Cilic won the US Open this year, so the stranglehold on majors by Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray seems to be over. Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and a host of others are poised to become major winners. Dominic Thiem and Borna Coric are being touted as future stars.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams played just well enough to make the semifinals of the WTA Championships, where she came back against Caroline Wozniacki. Simona Halep had bageled Serena Williams 6-0, 6-2 in round-robin play, and Williams returned the favor, 6-3, 6-0, in the final. The gritty indoor courts played slow, which seemed to help Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and Wozniacki, and probably hurt Eugenie Bouchard, Ana Ivanovic, Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova. Wozniacki later put in a very respectable 3:26 in the New York Marathon, and was greeted at the finish by bestie Serena Williams. Their friendship has done much to humanize each other to the public.

I can’t remember when the women’s game had so many interesting, capable players, but London Times columnist Matthew Syed argued against equal pay for all women athletes in, When equal rights and equal pay don’t mix. To actually read the article one must pay a fee, but in rebuttal, Hadley Freeman wrote Female athletes stealing from men? I call it equal pay, in the Guardian:

Here is a fun little paradox to get you in the mood for the weekend: when is equal pay “sexist”? When it’s for female athletes. Boom! Am I right, lads?

… a BBC Sport survey that found male athletes are awarded more prize money than their female counterparts in 30% of sports. Now, some might feel that 30% is sufficiently unequal, but this commentator feels it is not unequal enough. Not only should men win more money than women, he wrote, but more of them should win a lot more: “To deprive Federer of income by handing it to female players is not far from daylight robbery,” he spluttered.

In response there are now three Twitter hashtags, #FeedRoger, #SaveRoger and #HouseRoger, so at least Federer’s four children won’t have to sell pencils in the streets to Serena Williams.

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