Controversy erupts over ball girls

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

The thought of using models to promote a sport or sportsperson is one that is not quite working at the Madrid tennis masters.

Controversy erupts over ball girls

Madrid: Model sportsperson is an often used term but the thought of using models to promote a sport or sportsperson is one that is not quite working at the Madrid tennis masters. A senior government official in Spain has asked the tournament to stop using models as ball girls. Andre Agassi tends to agree but some of the other players are being surprisingly non-committal. The top players in the world like Roger Federer and Andy Roddick are not playing this event but the tournament has still managed to keep itself in the news because of its decision to use models as ball girls. Training session The models had to go through a two week training session since most did not even know what an ace was. "It is very amusing for us, it is just different. We are all learning a bit about tennis matches because we didn't know tennis at all," said a model. Agassi was one player who voiced his concern but others were non-committal saying they did not really care that young tennis fans were being deprived of the chance of meeting their idols. "I suppose I need some time to better absorb it, but, you know, I think it is important for our sport to understand its product clearly, and I'm not quite convinced this is part of our product. The skirts look a little uncomfortable to run in, they should be shorter," said Andre Agassi, 8-time Grand Slam Champion. Bad example Spain's Secretary for Equality was however, a lot more miffed than Agassi. She says the tournament is setting a bad example by using women as objects of decoration and entertainment. But so far the organisers have not changed their mind and they are not likely too either unless some more players join in and take a tough stand.
Topics : Tennis
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