Weblog: Sports editor's view
Time to put an end to sets discrimination
Wow, Wimbledon's women's singles final day.
As I write, it's just 90 minutes until Venus and Serena Williams stride out to entertain the masses.
And if we're lucky it will be at least an hour before one of them strides off again as champion.
Sporting Index estimate that the crowd will be treated to 155-160 points. But what's this? The same firm expect the men's final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick tomorrow to feature 226-233 points. And that's a game they don't see as being anything like as competitive.
We all know the reason why, of course - the men play best of five sets and the women best of three.
But why is that still the case? The women get the same pay as the men now for doing 60 per cent of the work.
The argument that women should get paid the same was that the women were bigger box office and maybe that was the case in the days of Navratilova, Evert, Graf and Hingis.
But over the last couple of years you'd be mad to argue that the masses at SW19 have been queing up to watch the Williams girls or their many Russian rivals rather than the clashes featuring Murray, Nadal and Federer.
It's sexist and patronising that organisers think that after three sets the poor litle girls will be so tired out they need to go home for a nap to dream about fluffy kittens.
England's women cricketers have been playing 50-over ODIs against Australia this week - they haven't been playing 30-over games because they're girls. They did a World Twenty20, too, not a World Twelve12.
And when Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher and Milka Duno competed in this year's Indy 500, they weren't allowed to pull over after 300 miles, they did the full race in equal machinery to the men (and Patrick was third).
Women's golf tournaments feature 72 holes, why is tennis so determined not to give fans full value? That semi-final between Elena Dementieva and Serena was a classic - the crowd would have lapped up a possible two more sets.
Venus Williams has lost only 20 games in reaching the final. Would she really be so exhausted if her matches lasted just over an hour rather than 40-odd minutes in polishing off the early cannon fodder?
In fact she's probably still a bit ring-rusty going into the final. A male player could win one match in straight sets having lost only two games fewer than Venus has conceded in the tournament to date.
It's time to end this sets discrimination.