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Billie Jean’s advice for female players

Billie Jean

Indian Wells: Top female tennis players may be doing themselves a disservice by hiring male coaches instead of women, according to former great Billie Jean King.

The American said she was baffled why players on the WTA Tour are never tempted to break the mould and tap into the vast knowledge of the likes of Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert or even herself for that matter.

“I’ve coached (former player) Tim Mayotte and a couple of others, but nobody ever asks us,” the 70-year-old said.

“It’s a big mistake because we are a great resource, and they should ask. Nobody ever comes to me and says ‘Will you help me with my game?’ any more.

“The last one to ask me to help was Martina Navratilova when she was playing her last few years of singles.”

Navratilova retired in 2006.

Billie Jean says there needs to be a cultural shift in attitudes for the situation to change on the women’s side.

“We’ve been taught that we’re not as good at things. That’s the way world culture works,” said the 12-time Grand Slam singles champion who has been a driving force behind equal prize money for women. “I don’t think it ever crosses their mind. And a lot of people don’t like to be controversial — everything’s branding today. I didn’t worry about that so much.”       (Reuters)