Changes to women’s tennis solve one problem but may create another

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Here is what you’ll want to know proper now from the world of sports activities:

Ladies’s tennis introduced huge adjustments — however are they actually?

The Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation simply launched a “complete rebrand” of the WTA Tour that features a new brand, new slogan and, extra curiously, new names for its tournament tiers. So goodbye to complicated designations like Premier Necessary, Premier 5, Premier and Worldwide. Tournaments that fell into these first two tiers are being merged into the brand new WTA 1,000 class. The previous Premier occasions at the moment are WTA 500, and Worldwide is WTA 250.

At first look, this can be a good name. It is simpler for followers to grasp numbers than to, say, decipher the distinction in high quality between a Premier 5 and simply plain Premier occasion. However the brand new naming system is not as hermetic as it’d look, and it may result in some unintended penalties for the WTA.

The principle cause given for switching to the numbered tiers is that the lads’s ATP Tour does it this fashion and it is sensible to align with them. Sounds good, however the cause an ATP 1,000 occasion is known as that’s as a result of the winner earns 1,000 rankings factors. Similar concept for ATP 500 and ATP 250. However the girls’s tour is not making corresponding adjustments to the factors awarded on the newly-named occasions. They will keep the identical as they’re now. So, for instance, the winner of the Miami Open (a Premier Necessary below the previous nomenclature) will nonetheless earn 1,000 factors. And the winner of the Canada-hosted Rogers Cup (previously a Premier 5) nonetheless will get 900. Regardless that they’re each WTA 1,000 occasions now. A lot for eliminating confusion amongst followers.

Then there is a thornier situation: prize cash. Equal pay was the core situation for Billie Jean King and the opposite girls who launched the precursor to the WTA Tour 50 years in the past. And tennis likes to trumpet the equal purses awarded at a number of of its occasions, together with all 4 Grand Slams. By pro-sports requirements, that places tennis on the vanguard of gender equality. So give it credit score.

However what’s typically ignored is how another males’s and girls’s occasions which might be seemingly on equal footing do not pay the identical. An important instance is the Rogers Cup. The boys’s and girls’s tournaments happen in several cities (alternating between Toronto and Montreal) however they’re performed on the identical time below the identical title. And but, the final time they have been held, in 2019, Rafael Nadal earned $1.049 million US for successful the lads’s tourney whereas Bianca Andreescu received solely $521,530 — half as a lot — for successful the ladies’s.

That is the place lots of people say Yeah, however the males’s event brings in additional income from sponsorships, TV rights, and so forth., than the ladies’s. That is true for the Rogers Cup and most different occasions that characteristic each a males’s and a girls’s draw. Nevertheless it’s not the justification tennis gave. As an alternative, the satan was within the particulars of the promise the game made years in the past to pay equal prize cash for males’s and girls’s tournaments held below the identical title — if these tournaments are of equal significance.

That final half is the important thing. The boys’s Rogers Cup is an ATP Tour Masters 1,000 occasion — so value 1,000 rankings factors to the winner. The ladies’s Rogers Cup was a WTA Premier 5 occasion — value 900 factors to the winner. Since it is not as necessary when it comes to rankings factors, it is OK for the ladies’s occasion to pay lower than the lads’s. This would not fly on the Grand Slams, that are value 2,000 factors to each the lads’s and girls’s winners. Nor at Indian Wells, Miami or Madrid, the place the winners every get 1,000 factors.

Which brings us again to the WTA event title adjustments. Simply because the rankings factors awarded within the previous Premier 5 occasions aren’t being robotically levelled as much as the previous Premier Necessary ones — although they’re all known as WTA 1,000 now — it is the identical with prize cash.

This might trigger the game some complications. Earlier than, whether or not you agreed with the follow or not, no less than tennis may lean on the in a different way named tiers of males’s and girls’s occasions as a sign (if not a justification) of their various high quality and pay constructions. However now that the tiers are named just about identically — WTA 1,000 and ATP 1,000 — it’d change into tougher to elucidate to everybody why the ladies earn much less.

Us making an attempt to determine the distinction between Premier Necessary and Premier 5. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Photographs)

Shortly…

Canadian soccer coaches and media made the simplest name ever. They voted Alphonso Davies the winner of the lads’s share of Canada Soccer’s Canadian Gamers of the Yr Award. Davies, who turned 20 final month, had most likely one of the best season ever by a member of the Canadian males’s nationwide workforce, taking part in a key position in Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga and Champions League titles and successful the German league’s rookie of the 12 months award for 2019-20. The ladies’s half of the Canadian Gamers of the Yr Award shall be introduced tomorrow. Read more about Davies here.

Mikael Kingsbury is damage. For years, we have questioned if something may cease the best moguls skier of all time from persevering with to pad his report World Cup victory totals. Seems, a fractured backbone. The Canadian revealed immediately that he cracked two vertebrae whereas coaching for this weekend’s season opener in Finland, which can lead to his lacking an occasion for the primary time in his World Cup profession. Kingsbury is anticipated to be out 4 to 6 weeks, which covers the primary three occasions of the season. Read more about his injury here and watch the moguls opener live Saturday at 9 a.m. ET here.

The Rockets and Wizards swapped issues. John Wall and Russell Westbrook each have contracts that assure them $80 million US over the subsequent two years, plus a participant choice of greater than $45 million for the next 12 months. On this financial system? These payouts can be onerous sufficient to swallow in the event that they have been going to LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard. However Wall hasn’t performed in almost two years due to accidents and Westbrook nonetheless desires to be handled like an MVP although he is 4 years faraway from successful one he most likely did not deserve. Houston and Washington discovered an answer, although: swap ’em for one another. So Wall and a lottery-protected first-round choose are heading to the Rockets and Westbrook to the Wizards. Read more here a few deal that may have been a blockbuster three years in the past however is now simply sort of unhappy.

And at last…

Beth Harmon > Bobby Fischer?

The Queen’s Gambit is an enormous hit for Netflix, and it is inspiring lots of people to take up chess. Gross sales of units and books are manner up because the present got here out in late October. On a extra anecdotal stage, the president of the Calgary Chess Membership advised CBC’s Jackson Weaver that he hasn’t seen this a lot curiosity within the sport since Fischer’s heyday within the ’70s.

The truth that the present’s protagonist (and most gifted chess participant) is a younger girl additionally appears to be broadening the sport’s enchantment — maybe in a manner even Fischer by no means did. However among the sexism depicted within the 1950s-and-’60s-set story nonetheless exists in actual life. Canadian chess champion Qiyu Zhou — a Harmonesque determine who’s solely 20 and received a Finnish nationwide title at age 5 — says she receives extra criticism than her male counterparts throughout her in style chess streams on the Twitch platform. However she nonetheless sees the sweetness and magnetism of a sport she calls “an artwork, a science and a sport, multi function.” Read more here about how The Queen’s Gambit may change the male-dominated chess world right here.

New on CBC Sports activities

Carry It In with Morgan Campbell: If you happen to like to listen to sensible individuals with sensible angles on the locations the place sports activities, tradition, enterprise, politics and race collide, try this present. Within the debut episode, Morgan talks with boxing commentator Corey Erdman about how final weekend’s Mike Tyson “comeback” battle was additionally an infomercial for a short-video app that is hoping to unseat TikTok — and has hyperlinks to the Trump administration. Then, basketball broadcaster Meghan McPeak and sports activities/politics commentator Dave Zirin focus on the worth of novelty sporting occasions, Sarah Fuller’s historic college-football kickoff and extra. Watch the present right here:

Within the pilot episode of Carry It In with Morgan Campbell, panelists Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin focus on the historical past made by Sarah Fuller, debate the necessity for novelty occasions in sports activities and take part in a fast sport of In or Out on this week’s largest tales. 34:24

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