There’s a weird atmosphere between the pages of the Sunday papers today what with Wimbledon and the Lions tour coming to a close, no weekly headline grabbing football and rugby matches and the Ashes yet to begin. There’s a sense of waiting, watching and still refusing to mention any of the upcoming huge women’s sports events due to kick off this week…
The Sunday Mirror
‘Come on Andy’ reads the banner underneath the paper title and come on Andy indeed. Well in fact at the time of writing this I can tell you he came on, played some fantastic tennis, won and made Britain proud, but that’s by the by. The Sunday Mirror do however give up nearly a whole page to reporting on the Women’s Final yesterday, referring to French superstar Marion Bartoli as the Iron Maiden. It all goes a bit downhill from there though as the article seems to focus more on Bartoli’s opponent Lisicki and her apparent breakdown on the court during the final than the match itself. Luckily there is also a good article on Laura Robson being given the nod as a star of the future by former player Pam Shriver which is always a good thing and shows the strides she’s made at this year’s tournament.
The Sunday Telegraph
The STel have actually done us proud this week by featuring Bartoli and the Wimbledon Women’s Final before the upcoming men’s final in the paper (you’ll be amazed how few have done this btw). Following on from the BBC’s ‘Looker’ debate (more on that later this week) most papers are choosing to refer to Bartoli as kooky, something the STel have jumped on, adding ‘fruit-loop’ to the list of attributes. Theres no real explanation as to why she’s a ‘kooky French fruit loop’ in the article, probably because of her playing style, however from reading the piece you’d be driven into assuming its because she’s fiercely intelligent (She recently recited all of Fibonacci’s Sequence live on american tv) and played on through the final despite having a massive blood blister under her toenail causing her vast amounts of agony. Not sure that would make her weird though, just a fighter who wants to win.
The Mail on Sunday
We received a lot of stick a while back for not including The Mail on Sunday into our paper round up repertoire as apparently it supports female sports journalist and regularly feature women’s sport. However, after several weeks now of featuring MoS I think we may have been lied to. In fact it is not until page 12 that you even realise there was a woman’s tennis match yesterday, let alone a final. The MoS have decided to go with ‘Quirky’ to describe Bartoli, however Martha Kelner’s article is actually really good and reports on the game itself, you know, the score and game progression and stuff, more than the 81 minute mental meltdown of Sabine Lisicki.
There’s also an article on the upcoming World Athletics Championship in Russia and the fall out of the latest Russian athletics drug scandal. Lynsey Sharp is one of the chosen case studies, being denied her chance to hear the national anthem after the 800m at the European Championships last year by the now guilty drug cheat Yelena Arzhakova. Sharp has since then had her silver upgraded to gold, however missed out on the celebrations and ceremony that come with taking first place.
Nearly a full double page on the Women’s final in The Observer, with an article about the match and an article about crying at tennis. Are we that British that a top Sunday publication will print an entire article entitled ‘Passion and emotion spill over into the crying game when dignity is on the line’? Admittedly the article says its okay to cry and makes a point that its not just a woman thing (Murray cried too), it just seems odd that we need to be told it’s okay to show emotion.
Anway I digress because in exciting news – THERE’S AN ARTICLE ON THE WOMEN’S EUROS! Yes, out of the five papers I have before me The Observer is the only one to mention the upcoming women’s Euro cup when it kicks off on Wednesday. Anna Kessel gives a low down of England’s chances at this year’s competition especially following their biggest defeat in four years to Sweden earlier on last week and there’s even mention of the TV schedule for the games and everything.
The Sunday Times
Ah Sunday Times, your opening sentence on the Wimbledon women’s final just fills me with cheer ‘Disappointment that the women’s final was competitively dire should not detract from the achievement of a most remarkable and deserving champion’. Nice and supportive there for a woman who choked and suffered greatly in the moment. I wonder if the same would have been said had it been a fresh faced Murray on the world stage for the first time choking under the pressure of such a huge event. However its a good article otherwise reporting on the match and highlighting Bartoli’s fight to win her first Grand Slam title after 47 competitions of such a level.
There’s also a very brief mention of Jodie Stimpson at the World Series triathlon in Austria who broke away over the last 2km of the bike section to finally finish first by 49 seconds, whilst Perri Shakes-Drayton took second in the Paris Diamond league last night. She completed the 400m hurdles in 53.96 seconds, a speed and position she hopes to improve on when the Diamond League/Anniversary Games come to London later this month.
Image from http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/marion-bartoli-john-inverdale-cruel-2034399 (thanks!)