Mendoza: Why don’t they hire porters for their stuff?

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I STILL cannot understand it.

There they are, men and women carrying their heavy stuff on their way to tennis matches in the ongoing Australian Open in Melbourne.

There they are, famous and obscure and near-famous, strutting their applause-earning wares in hopes of hauling home unprecedented fortune along the way.

And, yes, there they are, mostly rich, electing senseless self-inflicted pain before and after every match under stifling heat and soaking sweat.

This has been going on for as long as one can remember, even before Bjorn Borg could string up those five straight Wimbledon crowns for a total of 11 Grand Slam titles to include six French Open trophies he had all so brilliantly amassed from 1974 to 1981.

And what heavy stuff do they lug, which pain do they bear, each time they show up, not only in a Grand Slam but also in any WTA-sponsored netfest for that matter?

I have yet to see one, male or female tennis player, carrying just one racket on the way to battle.

I see each one of them with two carry-all bags slung on both sides of their shoulders—on their way into and out of the court. Just right. Spares have always been indispensable.

Each bag is stuffed with, well, mainly rackets and other “war” paraphernalia like spare T-shirts and sweat bands, and towels as well.

I saw one player toss four of his sweat-soaked red Lacoste T-shirts and three towels to the crowd after winning his match.

Did he do it out of joy following his victory? Maybe. But if he did it to lighten up load on his bag on his way to the lockers, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Every match almost is energy-sapping that every player deserves help every step of the way after battle.

Call me trivial but, if organizers couldn’t provide bag-carriers to our stars, why don’t players themselves hire porters to carry their weapons of wealth-grabbing?

Players, especially the certified superstars, can always afford to pay, given that they earn millions every year. Porter pay is but a pittance fee.

If golfers can have caddies, why can’t tennis players have them, too?

Call me petty, but I just can’t help it.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2014.

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