Monday, June 02, 2014

Roger Federer's opponent Ernests Gulbis thinks women should not play tennis

Outspoken tennis player Ernests Gulbis is in the news again for all the bad reasons.

This time around, he has asked women to stay away from professional tennis as they would be better served having children instead.

Gulbis had even accused Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray of boring tennis fans with their successes in Grand Slams.

Gulbis was asked if his sisters would take up the game. This is what he had to say.

"Hopefully they're not going to pursue a professional tennis career. Hopefully. Because for a woman, it's tough. I wouldn't like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It's tough choice of life. A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you're playing professional tennis, you know. That's tough for a woman, I think."

Elina, sister of Gulbis, has a law degree-she should have a discussion with him about biological clocks and how 27 is still prime time.

Or better, let's have a panel discussion with Kim Clijsters, Steffi Graf and Lindsay Davenport and moderated by Pam Shriver about how tennis careers interfere with having children. Of course, we would need to provide child care for the 10 biological children they have between them.

Frenchman Gilles Simon had asserted that women don’t deserve to be paid at par with men in Grand Slam events.

Asked to respond to Gulbis, WTA players offered smirks and tepid responses.

"I don't think we can take everything serious when he speaks," Maria Sharapova said, laughing.

"I mean, let's be honest with that. I think he's great entertainment and we love to listen to what he has to say."

C'mon, Gulbis, get your head in the game. You have to do better if you want to evoke more than chuckles from the future mothers you are trying to offend.

"In a way, I think he was joking, but he's playing the sport, so how bad can it be?" Sharapova continued, gamely mustering a serious response.

"If he felt so bad about it, and even if he's a male, I don't think he'd be playing it. I think the sport brings so many opportunities to women. I mean, it's brought me so many things into my life and my career. I don't regret any step that I have taken.

But then, on the other hand, sometimes I wake up and think, 'Well, I don't wish this on my kids.' But then when I'm playing the matches, I'm in front of thousands of people and the experience that this sport brings, I think, 'Of course I want my kids to do this, this is such a huge lesson in life.' ''

You know what else Sharapova can do when she has kids? Actually spend time with them and enjoy the buckets of money she has earned as a professional tennis player. It's a formula that's worked for men for millennia — working like crazy while amassing your fortune and then having a family.

20-year-old Garbine Muguruza also dismissed Gulbis’ comments.

“You play tennis until you want, when you feel you want to make another things, have babies or have a family, then you can do it. You play until you want to play.”

Gulbis, 25, has reached the last 16 of a major for the first time since he made the quarter-finals in Paris in 2008.

"I made a lot of bad decisions, career-wise," Gulbis said.

"But now I am jumping on the last train. I'm 25, so this is my last opportunity to be really successful."

Anyway, thanks to Gulbis for restarting the clock on the next insensitive comment. Hopefully, men on the tour have been monitoring the response here and realize they need to come up with something better if they want to become the next irrelevant footnote in Slam history.

By the way, Gulbis will face Roger Federer, father of four, in the fourth round. Teach him a lesson, Fed.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I really don't like this guy, well this is one major reason why.

I don't like guys that say things like these in press conferences just to garner attention or try to be provocative for whatever reason.

I'll take "boring" Federer any time thank you very much. And really, way to offend not only women players but women in general, just when you think attitudes like that are disappearing. 

Disappointing and sad.

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