I would've posted this last week, but I wasn't around. So you can have it now. Compare and contrast the Wimbledon coverage in the nationals.
Men's No 3 seed knocked out in sensational upset: tumbleweed.
Women's No 3 seed knocked out in sensational upset: HUGE PICTURE OF HER CELEBRATING (sic).
It looked like this:
Not just the Mail, obviously, though it's a perfect example - the Guardian (sigh), the Telegraph (obviously) and many others followed suit. Clearly, while Novak Djokovic's surprise exit from the Wimbledon tournament merited bugger all coverage except in the sports section, Maria Sharapova's departure from SW19 was so much more important that it needed - really, really needed - to be on the front page.
I remember watching the game at the time, and the BBC commentator was naively telling us that "the cameras will be on Alla Kudryavtseva now". Well maybe they were - but you won't have seen many photos of her on the front pages. Which is a shame really, because as well as playing better tennis than Sharapova in that match, Kudryavtseva is an effervescent, charismatic figure, as opposed to the dour, misery-guts monolith she defeated. But clearly her tennis abilities come second to her appearance, as is right and proper in the women's game in 2008. And she doesn't shriek and scream either, so where's the fun in that?
Anyway, the other thing to note is that to illustrate an article about Sharapova losing, the picture eds at the nationals chose... a photo of her celebrating. Why might that be? Perhaps the snappers were a little naive themselves, taking photos of Kudryavtseva at the moment of victory - you know, actually photographing the story - whereas what they should have been doing was to take pictures of the second-best, but supposedly best-looking, player on court.
I have to keep reminding myself it's 2008, not 1978. Especially during Wimbledon fortnight.