BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
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Turned off by the girl power

Robbo Robson | 10:56 UK time, Thursday, 2 July 2009

Squawk! Thump! Squawk! Thump! Squawk! Thump!

Crikey the lasses' tennis is boring isn't it? On the radio it sounded like someone was taking out their grievances on a colony of herring gulls.

The game between Mauresmo and Safina looked like a thriller on paper but I've never been so bored. And Safina v the German lass in the quarters was no better - it was like watching a tree-felling competition between two very tired giants.

Have Marat and his sister ever been seen in the same place at the same time? Cos as far as I can tell they're interchangeable.

Of course the favourites for the title are the arch-bashers Venus and Serena. The latter's mood seems to be a little more in keeping with her name these days but you can't escape the impression that when she takes on a lesser player it's reminiscent of a buxom barmaid swatting a drowsy wasp with a newspaper.

Venus is no less forgiving and although they do their best to prove their feminine credentials with the blowing of kisses and the girly pirouettes, you still know the pair of them are hard as bloomin' nails.

The other squawkers aren't really any gentler and at least the Williamses know what to do at the net. The quarter-finals were chock-full of baseline sluggers who have completely forgotten that tennis is supposed to be entertainment. They close in on the net with all the confidence of Middlesbrough's front two.

While I was celebrating the early departure of Sharapova, there seem to be plenty of shriekers on the production line waiting to take her place: Azarenka, Demenieva, and this new lass called Larcher Brito. None of them are too hard on the eye but they are bloody awful on the ear so I'm thinking of calling them the Deci-Belles.

I swear it's gameswomanship all this bellowing. "It's all a bit fake," I told the missus. "Like you'd know!" she replied a bit acidly.

The Williams sisters in doubles action

I'm fully expecting that the Williams sisters will be the finalists which, despite their protestations, will lead to another dull final. It's not that they're not good players - it's not even that they don't try when playing each other - it's just that they don't care too much if they lose. It doesn't hurt them to see their sis carrying the fancy tray around the Centre Court.

I always feel a bit churlish about these particular women when you remember how their father taught them how to play the game on a public court - and asked if the local gangs in Compton could lay off shooting at each other so his girls could work on their two-fisted backhands.

I mean it's a hell of a story. I just wish they could avoid playing each other somehow. I'm not saying they'll just divvy it up between the two of them but it is Serena's turn. And I won't be watching.

The main criticism of the women's game is its complete lack of subtlety. If Safina's plan of thumping it really blinking hard isn't working, what does she do? She thumps it a bit harder. And that pretty much goes for all of them. The only slice most of them have seen comes in pizza form.

It's not a great time for the ladeez to be earning the same as the fellas is it? I'm all for equality, me. I've got nowt against lasses going down mines, sewers etc. Join the gang. But at least them lasses'll be doing the same amount of work.

Chances are that Serena'll be slipping off her slightly kinky coat on Saturday having played 12 sets of tennis. Were it not for the heat she'd have sweated about as much as your average overwintering penguin. Even the unruffled Federer will have played 19 by the beginning of the final. It's less work, not nearly as entertaining... in short, the lasses've got a flipping nerve asking for the same dosh.

Thankfully the men's game is looking healthy enough if you exclude Ivo Karlovic who is clearly a cyborg that started life as a serving machine. I still don't know how Federer avoided the inevitable tie-breaks. In fact, I thought they'd just cut to the chase and go straight into them given that Ivo had more aces than a veteran card-sharp with deep sleeves, but Rog is made of different stuff.

Murray's late-night thriller was great telly, not least cos the bloke has a whole variety of shots at his disposal. And the roof is just brilliant. You get enough flak in this country if you try and build anything so let's not be shy in praising the fantastic concertina roof.

Centre Court looked like one of them light boxes they stick out on nature programmes to attract the moths. And Henman Hill looked like some weird drive-in movie for tennis nuts. The All England Club must be wondering why it took so long to do it.

The only tragedy was the numpties who left the court before the match had finished. I don't really care if they had homes to go to; there's a great clump of desperate folk who can't get to see the Scottish Wild Cat stumble to victory and you lot are dribbling home early like you're in the exec boxes at Wembley.

A Murray-Federer final? Almost certainly. With Federer to win in four.


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