Something is Wrong With Women’s Tennis

France Tennis French Open

Yesterday was an exciting day with Isner vs Haas showcasing a real drama match ending with Haas winning 10-8 in the fifth set on his 13th match point, but what I felt like writing about was a thing that has bothered me a long time: Why many women tennis players are so unfit. If you can help me figure this out I would be very grateful.

I actually did write a post some years ago about why many women tennis players are overweight. I guess I had seen one too many matches were one or both players had a surprisingly large amount of belly fat. I couldn’t help but thinking about this again yesterday when I saw Marion Bartoli play and lose badly to Francesca Schiavone.

I don’t want to be a jerk here and talk too much about women’s body shapes, but I can’t help but wonder why in a sport that requires such intense fitness, a large portion of the female players are overweight. They must be practicing for hours every day – so how can this happen?

I have no idea really and that’s why I’m asking. Maybe you can fill me in or set me straight dear LoveSetMatch readers.

6 thoughts on “Something is Wrong With Women’s Tennis

  • June 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I had just subscribed to this blog and now I have unsubscribed due to content- really? If you have any women who read your blog there’s a good chance you lost them now.

    • June 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks for your comment Christine. I can definitely see how one might be offended by Jon’s comments about women’s body shapes and perhaps his tone and language. I would really welcome your response to why you disagree with Jon and love to hear your perspective as well. Personally I don’t think weight and shape don’t have anything to do with it. In my personal life there are a lot of players who are less “fit” than I am that hit me off the court and at the end of the day – a win is a win. I give them the respect they deserve as good tennis players no matter what they look like and my job is to unravel the puzzle of how to play better next time. There are many voices on LoveSetMatch and all of them are friends whom I believe love tennis as much as I do. I enjoy the discussion here and on twitter no matter what the subject. I am very sorry you unsubscribed from our blog and hope you will reconsider since there are many points of view here and all of them are pro tennis. Let me know what you think! PK

    • June 3, 2013 at 2:02 am

      I can see how some things written in the post can be seen as offensive and have edited it a bit to remove the old parts that were a bit over the top and some wordings I regret, but the questions persists – why are so many women tennis players not in tip top physical condition? I have nothing against women’s tennis – quite the opposite! But it’s kind of mind-boggling that many players play so much tennis and still are overweight.

      I hope you change your mind about unfollowing this blog. I’m just one of the voices on it and my intention is not to hurt but to bring about discussion.


      • June 29, 2013 at 5:42 am

        I’m a woman and I’ve been wondering the same thing for years.
        I used to play tennis and it’s a demanding sport. I wasn’t overweight at all, back then. And I remember playing later when overweight: it wasn’t say at all.
        I think that maybe the slight overweight of some female tennis players could be because of the nutrition. For instance, all those sports drinks with minerals etc. but also lots of sugar… Match this with female metabolic and hormonal balances that are different from those in male bodies, et voilà: you get an athlete who trains hours and hours a day and still carries around flabby bellies, big legs or the infamous “pasta rings” (sorta like the love handles but flabbier).
        I’m just speculating, as there’s an individuality component in everyone’s body weight.
        To be honest, I don’t find this comment offensive, but I understand some might find it inappropriate.

        • June 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm

          Thanks for your comment Sara! Nice to hear your perspective and especially that you used to play tennis and know how demanding it is. As I read your post I was also thinking about how much stronger our genetic makeup is than nutrition. I might suggest that people’s body shape and form is fairly predetermined by their genetic code just as their height and shoe size is. I am sure that every one of the women on the WTA tour works harder than any commentor here and that they are trying to be the strongest, fastest, and best player they possibly can. PK

      • June 30, 2013 at 3:02 am

        Yes, exactly. If you think about it, more weight also means one needs more muscle mass to move the weight around. Then I wouldn’t consider some tennis players “fat”. I’m Italian and in my family we say “robusto/a” when someone isn’t lean, but isn’t fat either: the overweight person who has muscles.
        Tennis being such a demanding sport, with sprints and hits etc., anyone who plays -especially at professional level- must undergo a lot of training so as to endure the physical effort of a (sometimes quite long!) match. But there are some who will never be lean even if they train a lot. That’s life 😉


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