British women have better work ethic than men, says O’Brien

MELBOURNE - England’s Kate O’Brien says Britain’s women tennis players have a better work ethic than their male counterparts and this difference was reflected in recent results.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 19 Jan 2010, 2:39 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:57 AM

O’Brien was speaking soon after joining fellow Brit Elena Baltacha in the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Austrian Patrica Mayr on Tuesday.

After many years in the doldrums, the British now have two players in the top 100 — Baltacha at 83 and O’Brien at 87 — as well as highly promising junior Laura Robson.

O’Brien, 23, said the women in the British national squad trained harder than their male counterparts.

“I think the work ethic among the British women is world class at the moment,” she said.

“We’re all absolutely working our socks off day in and day out.

“I think the men, the younger guys, are getting there — I think there’s definitely a more professional attitude among the men.

“But I don’t know, women tend to be a bit more conscientious as it is anyway.”

When asked whether a British woman could be challenging for a Grand Slam within five years O’Brien answered: “Definitely”.

“I think the British women — I saw Laura (Robson) playing in qualifying — she’s such an exciting prospect,” O’Brien said.

“I think even this year she could start to really break through.

“I know at the NTC (National Tennis Centre) where I train there’s a positive vibe about the place.”

O’Brien put the improvements down to better coaching and facilities.

“There was a lot of chopping and changing before the NTC,” she said.

“But now everything is set in stone. Everything was new a couple of years ago, but I think now we’ve all used that to our advantage.

“I think everyone knows what direction they’re heading in ... because for me, it wasn’t until I was 19, 20 that I really kind of understood what it needed to take to be a top player and have the facilities and coaching in order to help me achieve my goals.”

More news from Tennis