Women’s tennis was all the rage!
In the 1970s, when Billie King beat Bobby Riggs, the world suddenly became aware that women could compete with men. Jean-Philippe Danglade, professor of marketing at Kedge Business School and author of Marketing and Celebrities explained already in 2016 in Le Temps that this interest has not always been focused only on men: “Men’s tennis is better positioned and more readable, but we forget that before the appearance of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, sponsors were quite attracted to women’s tennis. At one time, Graf, Seles and Hingis were more attractive than Bruguera or Muster. Today, the problem with the WTA is that it only has two headliners (Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova) […] For advertisers, the fear of emptiness is real.”
Unusual profiles and personalities
If a match between Djokovic, Nadal or Federer sells, it’s because their career is exceptional and they are in a position to write their name in the history of tennis. It is finally thanks to strong personalities, as much loved as hated, that a sport becomes more media-friendly. Spectators are fond of rivalries, suspense and juicy anecdotes. It would be the same for women if they could offer an equivalent.
Some players like Serena Williams do. They have as many or even more victories than some of the most famous players. The American’s record and personality have made her the most popular player on the WTA Tour in recent years. It is obvious that she has carried the tour throughout her career. Since then, few players have been able to reach her level, even if we can see a whole generation of young talented players ready to fight for the title of No. 1 and make history in women’s tennis, too. Bianca Andreescu confirms this new wave. “This is a really exciting time for women’s tennis. There are so many strong young players: Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff, Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka… The list goes on. I think the rivalries we will develop will be super important. I think we can change the game. We can change the world. We are coming in strong. Especially because we’re great, super young and we’re doing really well.”
So women’s tennis should not be looked at in comparison to men’s tennis, but rather for what it is, which is women’s tennis with its own characteristics and personalities. And who better to talk about their sport than the main players involved? Julia Georges explains why women’s tennis can be more interesting: “With us, there is a real uncertainty, you really don’t know who will win the match. It’s 85% or 90% different than in men’s tennis where the favorites are rarely beaten. Also, the level has risen a lot. There are no easy opponents anymore, fans should realize that.” Kristina Mladenovic also agrees with the German: “Women’s tennis has improved. The matches are often undecided and even if it is true that we hit less hard and that the game is slower, the show is often there”.
The tournament’s role in promoting women’s tennis
The Ladies Open Lausanne is also a great show. The tournament aims to promote women’s tennis and to offer everyone the opportunity to discover this sport in a more global way. To be able to give young girls the desire to take up tennis by seeing professional players compete on the Centre Court of the Tennis Club Lausanne is a mission that is close to the heart of the organizing committee. The latter is largely supported by the City of Lausanne, which this year has set up a campaign to promote women’s sports with numerous ambassadors, including the Vaudoise player Timea Bacsinszky. In addition, the tournament offers its wildcards to young Swiss women who can thus confront more experienced players in order to help them progress and have the chance to participate in an international tournament. It is therefore essential to encourage our public to come and support the tournament, the players and in general, women’s tennis.
Do not hesitate any longer and buy your tickets for this new edition of the Ladies Open Lausanne!