The Australian Open has already been worth its weight in "Garny-air" * and we're not even finished with the first week yet. As if the wonderfully gladiatorial match between Marat Safin and the beleaguered Marcos Baghdatis last night were not enough (and won't Our Lleyton be licking his chops trying to work out how he can best use the distractions of the Baghdatis kerfuffle to his advantage, and rightly so; take it home to Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, boys), we now have the magnificently gutsy and skilful defeat by Casey Dellacqua of a surprised and increasingly aback-taken and rattled Amelie Mauresmo, whose demeanour immediately post-match I thought uncharacteristically churlish.
Go Casey. Even if she loses in the next round to the scary Jelena Jankovic (and let's face it, the odds are against her), she will still now be able to afford her own room and decent transport and some serious athletes' food. And if the plug that Todd Woodbridge so cleverly set up for her in the on-court interview after the match has the effect it deserved, she'll be getting all her PlayStation stuff for free for the foreseeable.
Does anyone know the real/official reason why the women don't play five sets? Surely it's time? After three sets the shortest of which was 28 minutes and the other two of which went over 40, both Dellacqua and Mauresmo looked to me to be good to go for at least one more set, and I would question the notion that women don't have the stamina for five sets in any case. From what I've seen of women's stamina over the last 50 years it wouldn't be any kind of problem, and it would shut up a lot of the blokes who complain about women expecting equality when they only play three sets -- where, frankly, I think they have a point.
I'm more than wiling to be corrected on this one, but isn't the persistence of the three-sets-for-women rule a bit of a hangover from the days when Ladies were thought to be Delicate? Or is it just that certain sorts of blokes don't want to have to watch the horrid spectacle of women sweating and straining, or maybe just don't want to know how tough women can be?
Askin'. As I say, happy to be informed and if necessary corrected, as long as it's by someone who actually knows the answer and isn't just doing the autopilot antifeminist thing, of which I am getting very, very tired.
* How one gets the pronunciation 'Garny-air' from the spelling 'Garnier' continues to bemuse. Dudes, if it were a French word spelled like that, it would be pronounced Garny-ay. If it were a French word pronounced like that, it would be spelled Garnière. And if it were an English word spelled like that, it would be pronounced Garny-uh -- as the very smart Alicia Molik, I notice, somewhat emphatically does whenever she's doing promos for them.