One thing you could never accuse Juan Ignacio Chela of is being politically correct.
Chela, who once spat in the direction of Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open, has produced a satirical list of requirements for being a WTA player. While the Argentine was trying to be funny, and some female tennis players may like the joke, others may consider him to be about as amusing as Bobby Riggs, the male chauvinist who lost The Battle of the Sexes exhibition to Billie Jean King in the 1970s.
Here is Chela’s 11-point plan:
1. The key is to produce 100 millilitres of tears every day.
2. It’s mandatory to put a teddy bear on your racket bag.
3. Hate all your colleagues.
4. Never train with a WTA player.
5. Turn your back to the court before serving and fix your strings for at least 20 seconds.
6. Hit the ball with a 1500 decibel sound.
7. From the quarter-finals on, wear make-up on court.
8. Never play a match longer than 29 minutes.
9. When you have your coach on court, look the other way.
10. At some stage in your career, have some acne.
11. At the end of the match, always wave like Miss Universe, even though you’re on Court 27.
Before writing the list on his Twitter account, Chela did at least seek the permission of some WTA players, including Gisela Dulko. Her response, after reading his 11 points, was that while they might reflect the behaviour of the elite on the tour, this was not a true characterisation of the journeywomen of the tour, the ladies you would not consider to be the star acts. It will be interesting to see whether any WTA players respond by writing a list of what you need to do to be truly considered part of the ATP Tour.
The moment that Milos Raonic walked on to the blue clay in Madrid, in preparation for next week’s tournament, all he could think about were Smurfs. Initial reports also indicate that the court is lower bouncing than red clay. But the argument that the tournament want to push is the improvement for the armchair viewer and for the player – apparently the improved contract of yellow on blue, rather than yellow on orange-red, is 22 per cent for the player and 27 per cent for anyone at home on the sofa.