Alizé Lim talks about parity on the WTA Tour – French Insider excerpt

There have been more than a few surprises in the women’s singles draw at the 2020 French Open, and Alizé Lim talks with host Jenny Drummond about some of the reasons for that in the latest episode of The French Insider.

October 8, 2020
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In the latest episode of The French Insider, WTA player Alizé Lim touched on several topics regarding the WTA Tour.

First, host Jenny Drummond had spoken with coach Patrick Moratoglou about why there is more parity in women’s tennis than in men’s. In other words, WTA tournaments are far more unpredictable than those on the ATP Tour. Who knows who will advance far on the women’s side of a Grand Slam? Whereas with the men, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer — when healthy — can always be expected to be around on the final weekend.

Moratoglou discussed the coaching aspect of it, which is more stable on the men’s side. On the WTA Tour, players change their coaches far more often. Lim agreed.

“I definitely agree with him because in order to have stability in your career, you must have stability in your entourage,” the Frenchwoman explained. “This is what the great ATP players do. Rafa and Roger have been so stable throughout the years; they have been able to build.

“I would say a second factor is that in women’s tennis the serve is not as strong of a weapon. They can’t rely on it or count on it at any time. Basically in women’s tennis, the players can win any point in any game. It puts the women under more emotional pressure; they have to face emotional pressure every single point. There tends to be more ups and downs emotionally, which changes the score and the results.

“The level today is way more even (than in the past). Today you see a girl who is top 10 practicing with a girl who is ranked 250. Strokes-wise you are not going to see the difference. They don’t have as much margin as before. Before, let’s say Steffi Graf’s time, No 1 in the world and No 100 in the world, there was a huge difference.”

Psychological support

Speaking of emotional pressure, Lim also suggested that women need more psychological support than the men. There is a reason for on-court coaching on the WTA Tour, she indicated. And when the players ask for their coaches to come on the court for help, the coaches better do it!

“I was talking with an ATP coach who has been coaching on the ATP Tour for so many years,” Lim reflected. “For the first time he was working with a WTA player and he was telling me that at the first tournament they did together, the WTA player called him on the court after being up a set and 5-2. And she was serving. He told me, ‘This is so silly. Why am I even going to go there? She just needs to close it up and serve it out.’ And I said, ‘Oh, do not say that to a WTA player.’

“He didn’t go, and I said, ‘If you do that, it’s going to be 5-all in five seconds.’ And this is what happened. This example really shows that the WTA players, the majority of them need more psychological support and not as much tactical support from the coaches.”

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