Net gain for women's tennis

16.02.41: THE ALL-ENGLAND Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club yesterday rejected a call for male players to be readmitted to the annual Wimbledon tennis championships.

'As a spectator sport, men's tennis has been dead for years,' said Melissa Crawley, the All-England Lawn Tennis club president. 'Since the serve became so fast and unreturnable, there has been nothing to watch. Who wants to see a game settled on double faults?'

Experiments to improve men's game with higher nets and longer courts failed to win back public interest.

'Tennis is essentially a feminine game. In the early 2000s it looked as though women's tennis, too, would be killed off by its sheer power, but officials have recognised that the unique selling point is grace, not pace. We have also reintroduced playing in whites to remind everyone that this is a traditional sporting contest,' said Crawley. 'With rackets now restricted to old-style carbon-fibre frames, women players once again play from the baseline, exploiting angles and scoring with deft placements rather than ground-scorching speed. This is what people want to see.'

Ron Taylor, president of the Association of Men's Professional Tennis, will seek redress through the courts. RG

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