Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mauresmo As Invisble As Ever

Why did Amelie Maursemo even boither to come out? She makes that historic step -- bravely coming out in the middle of her career when so many endorsements and other commercial prospects loomed ahead, came out when it might have proved a distraction for a player who was famously a choker in key moments, came out when she was only the second player in tennis history to do so while competing -- and then the media puts her right back in the closet. Ugly comments by her opponents are ignored by the tennis establishment (though not in France, where her popularity is high) and she gets treated differently during TV coverage from every other player around. Now Sports Illustrated does a SIX PAGE spread on Wimbledon, covering the triumph of Roger Federer and Mauresmo, but never mentions once even casually that she is out. Should it be the focus of every story? Should people ask, "As a lesbian, how is your backhand?" No of course not. But frankly that would be preferable to wishing she would just disappear. On the other hand, SI did include this keeper of a quote from Federer's opponent Rafael Nadal, who was responding to champion Mats Wilander's comment that Federer lost his cajones when Nadal stepped on the court. "If [Federer doesn't] have balls, who has? Who wins three consecutive Grand Slam titles, makes the final of Roland Garros, wins three consecutive Wimbledons and makes the final this time? Who lost [only] four matches in one year? He has very good balls."

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