Some argue that the 2018 US Open was biased against female players. In the singles men played 3,176 games in the recent tournament. Or 1.538x more than the 2,065 games played by the women. Yet the stats show men suffered 86 code violations vs 22 for the women or 3.91x. So on balance men 2.54x more likely to suffer a code violation than women on a per game basis. Is it the blokes are just more ill-tempered? If we use the 1.538x ratio of more games played, the boys get penalized (over the last 20 years of grand slam violations);
4.2x more for racket abuse
1.6x more for audible obscenity
2.8x more for unsportsmanlike conduct
2.5x more for verbal abuse
1.2x more for visible obscenity
1.5x more for time wasting
The girls get penalized more than boys in the follwing ways.
60% more for coaching
10% more for ball abuse
Although trying to compare ‘bias’ in tennis with respect to code violations is kind of irrelevant. Certain players ‘blow up’ more than others. McEnroe got many more warnings than Bjorn Borg.
Just for the record, at the US Open Djokovic had to play 136 games for his $3.8mn vs Osaka’s 86. So for each game Osaka earned $44,186 vs Djokovic’s $27,941. Maybe this is why he made his comments about men deserving to be paid more? If we look at the runner ups, del Potro won $17,961 per game vs Serena Williams’ $26,428. So Serena’s. 2nd place earned her almost as much as Djokovic win.
Naturally a better judge is not games played but viewership. The Serena Williams/Naomi Osaka final drew 3.1mn viewers on ESPN, more than the 2.07mn that watch Djokovic/del Potro the next day. If women get 1.5x the audience of the men in the final could one argue the men need to play 1.5x longer to earn the same? Arguably Serena was fighting to match Margaret Court’s record which was part of the boost.
To be honest women’s tennis can be more entertaining to watch in so far as frequent sustained rallies. Men’s tennis can often be a blast fest of aces and blistering returns of serve.
It is likely that Osaka will attract higher than average audiences going forward. Perhaps she is entitled to claim higher prize money than the men based on the extra attention she brings to the sport?
If we look at golf, Tiger Woods used to be paid $300,000 just for attending a tournament regardless of how poorly he finished. If Naomi Osaka helps click the turnstiles surely she deserves a cut of the gate?