Is the women’s draw at the French Open actually taking place? It doesn’t appear to be in New Zealand anyway.
There is no doubt this is a busy month for sport; especially here in New Zealand. However a tennis Grand Slam is a tennis Grand Slam, and there is more than just the men playing.
There has been the sub-plot of Michael Venus making the doubles semi-final, which has been worthy of celebration, although there was no live deed of his quarter-final.
However, at the same time, the women’s side of the draw underway, and it’s drawing deafening silence in New Zealand coverage.
This morning across the spectrum on New Zealand radio bulletins there was minimal coverage of the women’s quarter-finals played overnight.
The was despite that fact that Simona Halep beats Elina Svitolina 3-6, 7-6, 6-0, with Svitolina having been 6-3, 5-1 up at one stage. A comeback like that should always get a mention in a Grand Slam tournament.
There was also the run of local player Caroline Garcia, typically not a home favourite, and her unlikely run to the quarter-finals, winning the respect of Roland Garos. And the story of 19 year-old Latvian Jeļena Ostapenko who has qualified for the semi-finals for the first time
The absence of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova has certainly had an impact on its wider appeal, but it is still a global sport played at its highest level.
There have been suggestions that this field is a bunch of no-names so therefore there is no interest. But that is such an obviously self-perpetuating argument. If these players get ignored how can they get known by anyone other than hard-core tennis fans?
There is a danger Little New Zealand could get a little macho and parochial with the America’s Cup and the DHL Lions tour currently underway. Open your eyes and embrace the wider world.