Saturday, October 20, 2018

Here We Don't Go Again

I've been ranting about a lot of stuff that I can't change, so why not go back to one of my favorite ranting topics of all time?
I am watching Daria Kasatkina's match versus Ons Jabeur. I had seen Kasatkina's coach's inspirational mid-match pep talk, and it was very good. Where was Jabeur's coach, though, to tell her to stop challenging? Just stop, sis.
Anyway, if you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know what's coming. Kind of.
You know, I feel like I've been on this anti-on-court-coaching train all by myself, and I was sure that the controversial U.S. Open women's final would have continued on to this issue, and I would finally have some company. And I was here for it. Waiting to get past this Serena/sexism stuff which has been annoying on about 40 levels, and then we ... got to on-court coaching! Yay! We got to the part where Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou said there should be on-court coaching at majors. (Whoops. We got a mid-rant rant coming: Serena Williams has never used on-court coaching and maintained she didn't receive it during the U.S. Open final. She has never, to date, seen the need for this and has done just OK so far. So it would appear that his own student does not agree with him on a fairly major point that helped launch an insane debacle at one of my favorite tournaments, but OK THEN. My personal favorite part of Mouratoglou's manifesto (say that three times fast) is when he says that on-court coaching is good for social media. I saw Kasatkina's coach's pep talk on social media, but when Coach MacGyver over there can turn social media traffic into tennis fans for life, I will be there watching. Do you think all the authors of those hot-take think pieces after the U.S. Open are still watching tennis?


And I got really excited because I thought, "Here we go! We are now going to get into how this has only been advanced for women's tennis and not for men. Now people will start asking why that is. They'll call it for what it is -- a sexist policy because it implies that only women need help pulling themselves together during matches, which is, uh, NOT TRUE. Here comes the sexism debate in tennis we've (I've) been waiting for."
Naturally, though, Mouratoglou managed to sidestep this truth in his little statement. Of course, because he is not interested in equality or anything that is "big picture." Unless that big picture is of him.
I think on-court coaching is stupid. But I would almost like to see it instituted for both men and women because there's something I'd like to check out. I would like to know if when Roger Federer comes from behind to win a match after on-court coaching if Ivan Ljubicic will get the credit. Because Kasatkina's coach sure is right now. (Sidebar: She didn't really observe his technical advice and she won anyway. Weird.) Mouratoglou says in his essay that coaching is front-and-center in every sport, and he might be right. I guess he thinks that people don't realize that tennis players are coached when they are not playing matches. But we all know who Bill Belichick is, so yeah. There is that. But does Belichick get the credit for Tom Brady's many come-from-behind wins? Yeah, no. Kasatkina, though? Thank goodness for her coach, who pulled her from the brink of defeat.


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