Pauline Parmentier of France v Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland - Paris, France - 28/05/16. Parmentier returns a shot. (Reuters Photo/Jacky Naegelen)

Want More Spotlight? Get Better, Bacsinszky Tells Women


MAY 29, 2016

Paris. Timea Bacsinszky has a simple message for women players wanting more of the media spotlight -- get better.

The Swiss eighth seed is used to living in the shadow of Roger Federer and reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka although she made headlines last year at Roland Garros when she reached the semi-finals before losing to Serena Williams.

With Federer ruled out of the French Open this year and nine-times champion Rafael Nadal withdrawing on Friday (27/05) with injury some of the regular storylines are missing.

"If you want people to talk more about yourself, play better. Be better. You can't expect anything else," she said after beating France's Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-2 to reach the last 16 on Saturday.

Parmentier, ranked 88, made a tongue in cheek complaint earlier in the week when three French women players' photos were featured on the front cover of the tournament's daily magazine Quotidien, but not her, despite reaching the second round.

It sparked a wider debate about whether the women's game receives enough attention and the eloquent Bacsinszky had some interesting thoughts on the matter.

"What I expect is not to be in the spotlight. To be in the spotlight, you have to deserve it," the 26-year-old said. "I'll never think, 'why are they talking more about Stan and Rog when I've just won a match?'

"Being ranked 50th in the world, I wouldn't expect anybody to praise my games."

The current men's era is regarded as the best ever with classic rivalries between the top four or five players, a situation not repeated on the women's side where Serena Williams currently has no obvious peer.

World number nine Bacsinszky acknowledged that the same "buzz" does not surround the women's game but says she does not lose too much sleep about her global standing in tennis.

"If people talk about me, that's good. If nobody talks about me... I think in French we say, 'to live happily you have to live in the dark'."

Parmentier, one of three French women to reach the third round, admitted that the men's game was 'more enticing'.

"Of course from time to time we wish we could get more media coverage, especially when there are good matches," she said.

"But I'm not asking newspapers and media to sell dreams. I will be clear about that. I mean, men's tennis is more attractive than women's tennis."

Bacsinszky plays either Venus Williams or another Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet, in the fourth round.