Did Brad Gilbert really diss Justine and women's tennis? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Did Brad Gilbert really diss Justine and women's tennis?

Ace Tracker
01-26-2004, 01:57 AM
I haven't heard the interview so cannot comment on it, but it's safer to post it here than over in WTAworld.... ;)

Gilbert Says Henin No Match for Low-Ranked Men

By Richard Vach, Tennis-X.com

Brad Gilbert, the current coach of world No. 1 Andy Roddick and formerly of No. 1 Andre Agassi, resurrected the battle of the sexes debate at the Australian Open this week when he said that women's No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne could not beat the No. 1,000-ranked player on the ATP Rankings.

"There's well over 1,000 guys, more, who could beat her," Gilbert said. "Justine is a good little player, but she's about 5 feet, 5 inches, and about 125 pounds. She couldn't come close to beating one guy in the (Australian Open) draw."

Perhaps the marquee match-up would not be between Henin-Hardenne and the No. 1,000-ranked player, but between "Beej" himself and the women's No. 1. The 42-year-old Gilbert reached a career-high No. 4 during his playing days, and keeps his skills sharp by sparring with his ward Roddick.

Henin-Hardenne, who lost to Yannick Noah 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1) in a December exhibition that was low on intensity and high on Noah-type clowning, would likely need some convincing before stepping on court for such a serious bout.

"To be honest I don't care very much because men's and women's tennis is totally different," she said. "Our bodies are so different that you cannot compare the two."

Serena Williams, up until a couple years ago, had considered stepping on court with a lower-ranked men's player until she suddenly came to the conclusion (or was convinced by her entourage) that it would not be in her best interest. Back in 2000 there was even talk of John McEnroe stepping into the ring, with $1 million offered by Donald Trump to see Johnny Mac and either Williams sister face off.

In 1998 both Serena and Venus were beaten easily in one practice set each by chain-smoking German doubles specialist Karsten Braasch on an Australian Open practice court. The Williams sisters were hanging out in the ATP office, boasting how they could beat the No. 200-ranked man, when in walked the No. 203-ranked Braasch. According to onlookers, Braasch delighted in slicing, dicing, and drop-shotting the sisters, who were not well-acquainted with opponents that had more in their arsenal than a hard flat forehand and backhand. Braasch beat Serena 6-1, and Venus 6-2.

There have been contentious comments between the men and women over the years, with former No. 1 Marcelo Rios calling women's tennis a "joke" in 1991, then laughing off a challenge from Martina Hingis, and coming under attack by Jennifer Capriati and Venus Williams. Rios later framed his comment, saying he was referring to the depth of women's tennis compared to the men, whereas the top men frequently struggle with talented lower-ranked opponents, while the top women record double bagels against their lower-ranked colleagues.

"It is ridiculous what is going on in women's tennis and everybody agrees, but I'm not going to start arguing with every girl who says it's not true," said Rios at the time.

Last year was the 30th anniversary of the Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs Battle of the Sexes, where the 55-year-old, out-of-shape, overconfident Riggs was soundly beaten by King, a tour player at the time. That high-profile encounter came on the heels of a lower-profile win by Riggs over Margaret Court, who Riggs masterfully beat-down mentally before she even took to the court.

With the changes in racquet technology over the last 10 years, some of the women on tour, led by Henin-Hardenne and the Williams sisters, frequently strike the ball off the ground harder than some of the men. Can you picture Gilbert trying to push his junkball game from the baseline against Henin-Hardenne, or see him chipping and charging, only to see the Belgian's stunning one-handed backhand painting the line?

Gilbert has been known, both in his playing days and as a coach, as someone not afraid to "talk the talk" -- or for that matter talk about anything, anywhere, to anyone, especially if the topic is sports. Gilbert opened this can of worms, so perhaps he should be the one to bait the hook and cast his rod, setting a match up for a pay-per-view extravaganza.

Like Riggs against Court, perhaps the smack-talking Gilbert could beat Henin-Hardenne before he even steps on the court. Or perhaps, like Riggs and King, talking the machismo talk is not the same as walking the machismo walk.

Richard Vach (rvach@tennis-x.com) is a senior writer for Tennis-X.com.

Deboogle!.
01-26-2004, 01:59 AM
No one's heard the whole interview that I know of.

I'm sure his comments were taken out of context a little (Because let's face it, every inflammatory thing printed in the press is usually taken out of context lol)..... and really he's not saying anything we don't all already know, but he probably should've kept his mouth shut.

star
01-26-2004, 02:00 AM
Yeah. I read that before.

I dont think it is dissing......

tangerine_dream
01-26-2004, 02:05 AM
I like that Justine laughed it off and dismissed the comment. I don't think it's a big deal.

Fedex
01-26-2004, 02:08 AM
Yes he did :fiery: :fiery:
I havent been to WTA World in a few days, so i dont know if there talking about this!! But it is absoulutly a horrible thing to do. Come to think of it, i cant see how Andy has improved so much, with the way gilbert acts. He's an asshole saying 1000 men can beat Justine. She's my favorite player and he did that so obviously i'm :(

star
01-26-2004, 02:10 AM
I don't think it has anything to do with Justine personally.

J. Corwin
01-26-2004, 03:37 AM
I don't think it's a diss at all, but of course journalists will try to spark controversy.

CooCooCachoo
01-26-2004, 06:55 AM
Hehe I remember that Braasch - Williams Sisters event lol. That was great fun!

faboozadoo15
01-26-2004, 07:19 AM
yea venus and serena were what 16 and 17???

CooCooCachoo
01-26-2004, 08:11 AM
Serena was 17, probably, but if they were that arrogant (see the article), it was a good thing. They would still lose to the #200 anyway.

Ma. Estefania
01-26-2004, 03:47 PM
He didn't diss Justine; he was just refering to women's tennis in general....

I don't like him, but I agree with what he said.

anthonyqld
01-27-2004, 01:42 AM
Gilbert was asked a question if a player ranked 100 in the world could be Double-H.

That was his answer. It's not like he brought it up, he was asked a question.

andylover_16
01-27-2004, 01:48 AM
i dont really know...but i definatly dont like Brad Much:unsure: