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Monday, 3 July, 2000, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
Are the women more entertaining?

Over the past 30 years, men's tennis has been widely regarded as a superior product - but is the women's game now more appealing to the fans?

Television viewing figures always backed up the theory that the men's game was the most interesting of the singles events, but the trend has been reversing over the past few years.

Big, booming serves and the subsequent short rallies offered up by the top men are often not conducive to a great spectacle.

Coupled with the high skill factor and unavoidable glamour that women such as Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis and the Williams sisters have brought to the party, women's tennis is now considered to be the the one to watch.

But what do you think?

Are the women more entertaining?

HAVE YOUR SAY


I think with the likes of Jelena Dokic and other young players coming into the game the womens game is becoming more interesting. In the mens not many young players are coming through and they need good young players like in women's tennis. Also there are more rallies in womens tennis, in the mens it is just serve and volley and the point is over. The men's tennis needs more young players like in the womens tennis where they have the Williams sisters, Jelena Dokic and Martina Hingis.
Luke Todd, England

I would say that both the games are very different and in some ways, equally as entertaining. While the men's games are very much based on strong serves, you get longer rallies from the women's matches and are good to watch. There are some very good tennis players on both sides playing very entertaining tennis.
Mukesh, England



Why is it that an all time great Martina comes out of retirement to attempt to get her record? Because Women's Tennis has never been so good and she can't stay away!

Jennifer, England
The sheer class of the women's game demonstrates technique and ability that is entertaining and attracting more and more crowds every year. When listing the top players such as Hingis, Davernport, Williams sisters, Seles and Graf all these have had memorable matches in most Grand Slam tournaments. Who can forget the duels Seles and Graf have had over the years? Its evident that Seles would have dominated women's tennis in her peak for a number of years, her title credentials are amazing considering she left the game for two years. She has shown great determination to find her own form once again and I still believe we haven't seen the last of Seles, lookout the Australian Open! Hingis is a total tennis genius, anyone who has won a grand slam at the age of sixteen and has dominated many players all around the court is superb, a thrill to watch. She showed brilliance in French Open, who would even think let alone dare serve an underarm serve for match point? People classed her as arrogant, it wasn't, it was just sheer class. The French Open Title was hers the crowd and official robbed her, however this match has been a turning point in women's tennis because Hingis had been dominating women tennis at this time and suddenly, she lost not just the title, but her confidence. She has shown great determination to come back from the defeat and in time Graf will really acknowledge that she played against someone very special and was extremely lucky to have walked away with the title. The talent the girl has is amazing and her defensive play yesterday showed her defiance and skill, it┐s a shame she lost as she is the best player in the world at the moment, but it once again shows how open the women game is. Both the quarterfinals match yesterday on Centre Court showed great skill and both were hard hitting from the back of the court, every form of shot was played. The men's game is just so boring: serve, return - next point! Its time the media accepted that the women game should stand alone in its established right and stop being compared to the men game. Women Tennis is attracting more and more sponsors, Miss Kournikova is keeping the women game in profile for the wrong reason, but its good because it will increase the coverage and hopefully, it will create more interest in the Tennis. Why is it that the women top seeds play in the doubles tournaments in the grand slams? for example Hingis play mixed, doubles and single showing all round tennis ability and reaching the quarter finals stages the majority of the time. This can't be said for the Men seeds who don't seem to compete at the same level. Why is it that an all time great Martina comes out of retirement to attempt to get her record? Because Women's Tennis has never been so good and she can't stay away!
Jennifer, England



the game itself is entertaining and there are outstanding players from both genders. Sport and entertainment are pratically synonmous, that much I accept

Renee, UK
Of course, the game itself is entertaining and there are outstanding players from both genders. Sport and entertainment are pratically synonmous, that much I accept. What I cannot come to terms with, however is the emphasis of the entertainment value of the women, at the expense of recognising real talent. One need only examine the Williams sisters and look no further at the odd and often disparaging comments made by some presenters. Yesterday even saw one interviewer liken Venus and Serena to Dionne Warwick?!? And, then, out of nowhere, Gladys Knight!! What do either of those women have to do with tennis. I'm not saying it's a race issue, but it sure seems like that is the angle being played. The bottom line is that there is value in entertainment, but one ought to acknowledge the skill and talent it takes to do just that.
Renee, UK

The womens game is much more interesting than the mens. The mens game is dominated by power serve and little rallies, compared with the womens game, which is much more exciting. Another thing about the womens game that is good, is the development of new stars emerging compared with the mens game which sees the same people in the final day in, day out.
Peter, England

Somebody said once that there was no passion in the womens game. Oh yeah, how stupid of me for thinking otherwise. That couldn't possibly have been just a tiny bit of passion that I saw from Lindsay Davenport at the Wimbledon ladies final last year, could it? Or in last year's French Open ladies final. Or how about when Jennifer Capriati made her amazing comeback. Have I made my point?
Siobhan, Scotland



with strong returners like Agassi in recent years, the men's game has become far more exciting in almost every aspect, and the women are becoming more reliant on serves

Mel, UK
Personally I think the women's matches would be more interesting if they went on for longer. You aren't given enough time to appreciate them - as soon as I really get into a match, it's over! I much prefer men's tennis. Four or five years ago, yes, the women were more interesting (who could forget the year Martinez won in 1994?), but with strong returners like Agassi in recent years, the men's game has become far more exciting in almost every aspect, and the women are becoming more reliant on serves.
Mel, UK

Today women's tennis is more entertaining. Some years ago I got Centre Court tickets and saw McEnroe play Stefan Edberg.The artistry that day was exceptional unlike the biff bang so prevalent now. Those who say there is no power in the ladies game have never stood close to a court when these girls play. The power is startling.
Derek Walker, England



Most people enjoy watching good, creative rallies which the women have in abundance

Dee Ersery, USA
The women's game is far superior to the men's game, even on clay. At Wimbledon the men play too short and fast. Most people enjoy watching good, creative rallies which the women have in abundance. Couple that with personalities like Kournikova, the Williams sisters, Seles, Pierce, Davenport, and Hingis and you simply have a much better product. Sorry guys!
Dee Ersery, USA

It all depends on the player. I believe the Williams sisters are far more entertaining than some of the men, but in general I prefer the men's game. If the women learn to serve and volley it would be more exciting, but at the moment most of them seem to be sticking with baseline rallies.
Beck, Australia

Other than the obvious British interest mainly due to Tim Henman, the dominance of the serve makes men's tennis far less interesting than it was years ago. The variety in women's tennis is more fun to watch. And why the reference to the "unavoidable glamour". Why should glamour be avoided? It just adds a bit more fun to the game, and isn't entertainment what sport is all about?
Brian Grove, UK



Women's tennis is easier to follow and is both more tactical and entertaining than the two to three shot rallies that make up men's tennis

Jon, Plymouth, UK
The women's game is far more entertaining and sensational than the men's. Particularly with the Williams sisters firing on all cylinders and the one, two, four seeds and other interesting-to-watch ladies, the women's game is unmissable.
Thomas Oppong, UK

Women's tennis is easier to follow and is both more tactical and entertaining than the two to three shot rallies that make up men's tennis today. Women's grunting may also be a deciding factor!
Jon, Plymouth, UK

I would go for the women's game anytime, especially at Wimbledon where the serve-dominated men's game can become very boring. Also, with the exception of Andre Agassi and Gustavo Kuerten, there are few interesting male characters in the game.
Elinor Sisulu, South Africa

The women's game was always going to be more interesting with Steffi Graf around. Her retirement has taken the sting out o the women's game. The women's game was thriving on Graf versus the young guns.
Stephen, UK



The women's game if more exiting now than ever before

Tim Griffiths, UK
The women's game if more exiting now than ever before. Why however, have the likes of Monica Seles and Sanchez-Vicario not been put on the main two show courts at Wimbledon so far? Seles is seeded six and has had to play on Court 2 all week. Other lower ranked men and women have had the privilage to play on Centre Court and Court 1, that is Pat Rafter (14) and Henman (8) but not the sixth women's seed. Why is that?
Tim Griffiths, UK

The overriding opinion I have after watching women's tennis is that there tend to be far less winners than unforced errors, with rallies being one when one competitor gets bored and hits the ball into the net. Long rallies are good if both players are having to play good shots, but if they are just gently patting the ball to each other for shots on end it rapidly becomes very dull.
Nick, England

We chaps just hate to admit it but yes, women's tennis is more entertaining. With men's tennis it's now a case of victory to the strongest, hence Sampras' domination to the demise of the men's game. A more interesting question is should the women play five sets? I would certainly like to see this happen, especially given some of the recent close finals.
Gerry, UK

Last year there were two classic women's matches; Venus Williams v Anna Kournikova and Venus Williams v Steffi Graf. In the men's event you can cite Henman v Courier, but more because of the drama and tension than the quality of the tennis. At Wimbledon, the last truly graceful male grass court player was Stefan Edberg. The chance of seeing classic matches such as Smith v Nastase, Borg v Gerulaitis or Borg v McEnroe are now virtually nil because of the serves of players like Ivanisevic, Rusedski, Krajicek and Sampras.
Colin, UK



The women's game is not as exciting as the men's simply because it lacks power and passion

Phil, England
In the men's game, more and more sets and even matches are decided on the turn of one or two tie-break points. It has become a game too dominated by the serve. Sets consistently reach 6-6 with many love-service games on both sides of the net. All too often service returns are, out of necessity, merely reflex responses, setting up easy volleys or smashes for the server. The power and accuracy of the serve delivered by the top men players is truly impressive, and a testament to their skill and dedication. It is, however, ultimately detrimental to the quality of the spectacle. With so much emphasis placed on the service, other technical aspects of the game are now far less visible and go relatively unseen & untested. It is time, maybe, to redress the balance, perhaps by limiting deuce and tie-break situations to a first serve only per point!
Nick, England

Men's tennis is becoming less and less interesting as the speed of the game increases. Therefore, because the women's game is still relatively slow in comparison it is obviously a better spectator sport.
Jonny Lawson, England

It depends on the surface. On grass, women┤s tennis has much more interesting and longer rallies. However, on clay I find women┤s game just too slow and boring.
Ricardo Molina, Germany

Personally I never enjoy watching women's matches as much as the men's.Though it can be said that the men's game is all about the big server, exciting baselines such as Agassi and Hewitt prove that the game can be won from the back. The result is many matches which show a clash of styles and tactics which only serves to make the men's game the more exciting event.
Tom R, UK



Exciting baselines such as Agassi and Hewitt prove that the game can be won from the back

Tom R, UK
For many years now I have preferred to watch the women's matches over the men. If I take time of to watch Wimbledon I would always take the Tuesday and Thursday of the second week off so I could watch the women's quarters and semis and then watch the final on Saturday. If I got to watch any of the men's it was just an added bonus. As a British supporter I am also now a very avid follower of Greg and Tim, but only because they are British not because the men's game is more entertaining.
Toni, UK

Yes - because the ladies game is less dependent on serve-win point. A bit of talent with cover, passing shots, strategy and defence is needed.
Helen, UK

The women's game is far more entertaining. The matches are more exciting. There are many characters in the game, such as Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and many more. The women seem to want it more, they look more determined and put everything into every match. The men don't seem to have the drive anymore because of the ammount of money they earn.
Gregorio Di Pichizzini, England



The womens' game is far more entertaining to watch as the rallies add suspense to the game and keep us on the edge of our seats

Catey, UK
The men's game may have power but it relies on the serve and therefore lacks the excitement of rallies.The womens' game is far more entertaining to watch as the rallies add suspense to the game and keep us on the edge of our seats. Both games are great to watch but women's tennis offers more entertainment.
Catey, UK

When I start to watch some tennis in the afternoon I will want to see a match with good rallies. A few years ago I would probably have found myself looking at a ladies match. Recently though, I have found the amount of rallies in the men's and ladies game about the same. The only key difference between them is the strength of the serve but this difference is decreasing as the years go by. I would say that both have the potential for good rallies but only if the players are well balanced in ability. Although people say the serve dominates, a good returner of serve will always combat that and often produce more rallies and will quite often win in the end.
James, Oxford, UK



The women's game in recent years has continued to go from strength to stength

Michelle, USA
The women's game is far more entertaining than the men's as they are not so reliant on a serve volley game. You actually get to see rallies at women's matches which is what all tennis fans truly like.
Joan, England

The women's game is not as exciting as the men's simply because it lacks power and passion. And in recent years the likes of Kournikova have reduced it to little more than a fashion show.
Phil, England

The women's game in recent years has continued to go from strength to stength.The matches are often more evenly matched and closely fought than the men's. Couple this sense of competition with the increased glamour on the circuit and it's not hard to see why many consider it to be superior to the men's.
Michelle, USA



Women's tennis has progressed to become much more entertaining than the men's

Helen, England
In a tournament like Wimbledon, where the emphasis is on short points and hard hitting, with the ball slipping swiftly off the grass, inevitably the women's game, with its slower pace and consequent application of skill will be more attractive to the viewer. At tournaments like the French and Italian Opens, and to a lesser extent the Australian, the slower surface means that with the men's game we get to see both power and skill, but with the women, we get skill and less power. So there the tide is reversed. I know I would much rather watch a women's match at Wimbledon than a men's, but then I would rather watch a men's match at Roland Garros than a women's match at Wimbledon.
Rob Kerr, London, UK

I think the two singles finals at the French Open answer all these questions - I actually fell asleep during the ladies, but hardly dared blink for the men's!
Jean, England

Women's tennis has progressed to become much more entertaining than the men's. Nobody wants to watch a constant combination of huge serving and huge groundstrokes. I would much rather watch the likes of Martina Hingis who has the best skills on the women's tour and can play any shot. Men's tennis is boring in comparison.
Helen, England



It is boring to look at the men's game because there are never any long rallies and at the blink of an eye a point is gone

William Murrary, Ireland
The women's game is far more entertaining than the men's because their skill factor is higher. In the women's game you can see aces, lobs, drop shots, as well as power hitting. The men's game simply doesn't have as much variety, especially on grass. Also, there are many more stars in the women's game. Casual tennis fans could name far more women players than men. There might be less depth, but in general the spectators want to see the top players get through, rather than an unknown. At Wimbledon, the public will always be more interested in the men's game because of Henman and Rusedski, but if there was a British female who could do well I think that would change.
Steven, UK

There are too many aces in the men's game and it's really got a bit boring. The women's game has longer points and more excitement.
Kevin Mullan, Ireland

As a fella I agree that women's tennis is far more interesting to watch. It is boring to look at the men's game because there are never any long rallies and at the blink of an eye a point is gone. The glamour aspect of the women's game is also very good for the game - people like Anna Kournikava and Martina Hingis.
William Murrary, Ireland



Without doubt the women's game is now more entertaining particularly on the lush lawns of Wimbledon

Clare, UK
The women are more entertaining, (because there are some really nice girls out there, like Hingis, Kournikova and Kristie Boogert from the Netherlands, my home country) but the women's game isn't. Women just cannot play as well as men.
Ivo, Holland

Without doubt the women's game is now more entertaining particularly on the lush lawns of Wimbledon. The men's games are often reduced to nothing more than repetitive serve and volley combinations. it is the women's game that offers enthralling rallies and closely fought matches.
Clare, UK

The women's game has never been as entertaining as the men's and still isn't. The men's game is much more of a spectacle and this is reflected in the amount of media attention the men's tournament recieves.
Doug, Ireland



The women's game has never been as entertaining as the men's

Doug, Ireland
The reason the men's game continues to be more entertaining is that there is actually some chance of British success in it. The nation would be thrilled if Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski could achieve some real success in the tournament. But there's no chance of British female success and until there is all eyes will remain firmly on the men.
Richard, England

The women's game will surely outshine the men's this tournament because the current crop of female player's are fairly evenly matched, with it being difficult to pick a strong favourite to win the tournament. While in the men's its simply a case of Sampras reigning supreme.
Suzanne, UK

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Classic women's singles finals
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