I missed it. But the evidence keeps pouring in. And in the past few days, we've seen Svetlana Kuznetsova (right), the French Open champ, complain that she wasn't placed on Centre Court while some young unknown women were. Even more strange, she thought, was No. 1 Dinara Safina playing on an outer court.
"Of course it's not fair," Safina said. "But, I mean, I'm not doing the schedule."
Turns out, Wimbledon officials say success alone doesn't earn women a spot on Centre Court, a court of honor. Wimbledon wants the best-looking women out there.
That's about getting TV ratings. And meanwhile, BBC officials said that yes, they would like Brits or babes, to use their words.
How hypocritical for Wimbledon, of all places, which portrays itself as the example of class in a crass world -- even forcing players to wear white -- to sell babes for these matches, as soft-core porn.
A few days ago, Maria Sharapova played Gisela Dulko, and on Wimbledon's official website, the report of the match said, "As Sharapova and Dulko ran and stretched and lunged, most of the male spectators could not have cared less about their topspin forehands and would no more have recognized a western grip from a western movie -- this match was about hormones, pure and simple."
Women's tennis is just hormones?
Silly me, I was actually watching tennis. Did I notice that many of these women were attractive? Yes. I'm not blind. But I was still watching for the tennis.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon put Victoria Azarenka against Sorana Cirstea on Centre Court Friday. Guess why. And while Serena Williams was out on Court 2, and showing up late (protest?) Russian Maria Kirilenko was on Centre Court.
"Good looks are a factor," All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins told London's Daily Mail. "It's not a coincidence that those [on Centre Court] are attractive."
The argument for this is that Wimbledon is a business, and it needs to put on Centre Court the best players for TV ratings and ticket sales.
So if that's all this is, then why not take it another step or two?
"Add fuel." That's what the p.a. guy was yelling at one point during the gold medal women's beach volleyball match at the Beijing Olympics, and there were dancing girls who would run out between points and move to bagpipe music, or "La Bamba" or "Sex Bomb."
I'm in a good spot to advise Wimbledon here, having been to the past two Olympic women's beach volleyball gold medal matches.
Beach volleyball is a mix of sport, party and sex appeal. And it's fun.
But I thought tennis was holding itself at a higher level.
Surely, Wimbledon has. Maybe that was just pretend.
Women's tennis has had an uncomfortable mix of sex appeal and sport, especially over the past few years. Sharapova is on the cover of ESPN the Magazine, and has some sexy pictures inside. But in the interview, she also complains about players worrying too much about their appearance.
Anna Kournikova, who led the sex-appeal generation of women's tennis, talked about the balance last week in a teleconference announcing that she would play World Team Tennis this summer.
"Women are going to always probably get attention for that, for looking a certain way, pretty or whatever," she said. "I think it happens not just in tennis, but in all sports or anywhere. People kind of pay attention to the way women look.
"Whether it's an office or in some other environment ... But really at the end of the day, it's about the sport and it's about the game. But it's promoting it a certain different way. As long as it's classy and it brings more people in, why not?"
Meanwhile, former men's champ Michael Stich said just before Wimbledon that the women's game is just there to sell sex, and rather than refuting that strongly, we keep getting evidence.
When Dulko finished beating Sharapova, she was asked about that balance.
"I always said, I'm not only a tennis player, I'm a woman," she said.
So someone asked Venus Williams how she felt about Dulko's answer.
"When I'm on the court, I want the point," Williams said. "So it doesn't matter at that point. I'm not thinking about anything except that point, so that's all there's room for."
Look, tennis is the one women's sport that has broken into the American mainstream. No doubt, sex appeal has helped it to get there.
But playing on Centre Court, the sport's most important court, is supposed to be an honor of accomplishment, not of hotness. It is for the men. And Wimbledon shouldn't be here to dismantle the credibility of the women's game.
Wimbledon is a leader in sport. It's time not to just act like one, but to be one.
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