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Old 06-17-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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I Love Tennis, But...

from my blog: David Nalbandian Defaulted From 2012 Queens Club Final After Injuring Line Judge | Fairways and Forehands



CORRECTION: In the following audio commentary, Yanina and Alize were playing the final of Nernberger Gastein, not AEGON. I just didn’t feel like going back and re-recording the commentary.

Audioboo / Blog Comment FAF: Nalbandian Default

Before I even get to what I want to say about David Nalbandian being kicked out of the Queens Club final take a look at what I will be commenting about so you can get some perspective:



Tennis is my favorite sport. By far. Introduced to the game at a very young age, it’s difficult for me to remember a time I didn’t know what tennis was, from being a 4 year old watching Billie Jean King vs Bobby Riggs to today. But the behavior of some players towards officials is a black eye on the sport. Tennis players know they are the commodity, the product. The show doesn’t go on if one player is defaulted. In baseball, the game goes on if Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter get ejected. In golf, if Tiger Woods were to do something so egregious to get disqualified in the middle of a round, they don’t pull everybody off the course and cancel the round. But in a tennis match, you can’t play with only one participant. Tennis players know that. And I think it gives them a kind of shield against bad behavior. They know the tournament organizers, the network broadcasters and the sponsors don’t want to upset fans or lose revenue by ending a match early. So John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase and others throughout the years have gotten away with berating officials in a way that would not be tolerated in other sports. Off the top of my head, I can think of one time McEnroe was defaulted, at an Australian Open. They would rather just give players code conduct point violations. Even when Serena Williams had her foot-fault meltdown against an official, she wasn’t defaulted outright. Some people report that match as if Serena would have won but was defaulted. What really happened was she lost because of when the code conduct penalty occured, which just happened to be match point. Kim Clijsters had won the first set against Serena. Serena was serving in the second set trailing 15-30, two points away from losing cleanly to Clijsters. The foot fault on a second serve brought it to match point, 15-40, for Clijsters. That’s when Serena went ballistic:



The resulting code conduct penalty on match point meant Serena lost the game and the match. However, had the score been 30-all, or basically any score that wasn’t match point for Clijsters, they would have kept playing. So let me understand this. A player can threaten to shove a ball down an official’s throat, but the player could still keep playing? Only in tennis. I guarantee you that if LeBron James threw a Serena fit and threatened to shove a basketball down an official's throat that not only would he get a double technical and get tossed but would also be looking at a suspension from the NBA league offices.



Look, I hear the people saying the official just had a little nick on the leg and he’ll survive. That is so not the point. Nor is Nalbandian’s comments on how many mistakes the ATP makes. And also, I reject the argument that Nalbandian was just kicking the ad around the line judge and didn’t mean to hurt him. The judge is sitting in the middle of the ad! Even if the ad wouldn’t have hit him, I still think he should be defaulted. You can’t just walk over to where a line judge is and kick the enclosure where he’s sitting. That is pure disrespect. Now, if he had smashed an advertisement that wasn’t near an official, maybe I just give him a code conduct point penalty and deal with it by fining him. But Nalbandian isn’t blind. He, just like the rest of us, can clearly see the line judge sitting in the box. Nalbandian absolutely did that on purpose. And this is not a first with him. He threw water at a staff member during the 2012 Australian Open and was fined $8000, nothing for a player of his level and financial means. He should have been suspended for a lengthy period by the ATP. Because it doesn’t matter that it was only water and didn’t hurt anybody. And it doesn’t matter why he did it. What matters is it’s another example of a tennis player abusing tournament staff and/or officials. That cannot be tolerated. But tennis is so afraid to suspend anybody because the players are the product. I hope this default of Nalbandian at Queen’s Club is followed by a suspension, but it won’t be. There’s no way they suspend Nalbandian on the eve of Wimbledon. They should. The people who run the tour need to have some courage and send a message that it doesn’t matter what McEnroe, Nastase and others got away with in the past. It’s a new day and that kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Trust me, at first it will be tough defaulting players. But once a few get the boot and have their prize money and ranking points pulled, as Nalbandian will as a result of this, then other players will think twice about how they treat tournament staff. Otherwise, the message being sent by the ITF, ATP and WTA is as long as they don’t draw blood, players can do what they want.
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Last edited by bangkokbobby; 06-17-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
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p.s.- I know some might argue that he was upset over the shot and just kicked in anger...the line judge just happened to be there...but that's just it...they regard the officials so lightly that David had no regard in kicking an enclosure where an official was sitting...here's a scenario for you...do you think he kicks that enclosure if the CEO of one of his sponsors was sitting there?
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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Absolutely outrageous behavior which correctly resulted in a default. He should be suspended too, but you're right...he won't be because tennis has evolved into putting up with this sort of punk behavior.

I don't even watch it anymore...haven't for a long while. Once they started all the arguing and screaming and the fans got into that boorish behavior too, I'd had enough. McEnroe, Conners, Nasty, et al were bratty jerks....and it's evolved to this sort of garbage.

Disgusting.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LoJo View Post
Absolutely outrageous behavior which correctly resulted in a default. He should be suspended too, but you're right...he won't be because tennis has evolved into putting up with this sort of punk behavior.

I don't even watch it anymore...haven't for a long while. Once they started all the arguing and screaming and the fans got into that boorish behavior too, I'd had enough. McEnroe, Conners, Nasty, et al were bratty jerks....and it's evolved to this sort of garbage.

Disgusting.
Punk behavior...that is spot on. I love tennis...but this behavior I can't defend. Can you imagine if a professional golfer went into a scoring tent upset about their round and kicked the table...not the official...just the table...but the table hit the scoring officials...it just wouldn't happen....
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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Oh by the way, LoJo...although I enjoy McEnroe as a commentator because he does have expert insight and is practically a walking tennis history encyclopedia...and I like his dedication to Davis Cup and that he didn't take the big money...some say 7 figures...to play Sun City during Apartheid...

...BUT...

...his treatment of officials has not changed, even on the Champions Series...basically like a Seniors mini-tour...because he's almost always gotten away with it...no chair umpire on the Champions Series is going to be brave enough to disappoint the crowd by defaulting him...



...look, I understand it's intense out there and I don't expect tennis players to be robots...it's ok to question an official...it happens in other sports...it is not ok to verbally abuse or threaten an official and just get a measly code conduct point penalty...as the saying goes..."throw the bum out!"

...let me say...one of the things I like about Maria Sharapova is I cannot recall her abusing or mocking an official...I'm sure if I YouTubed it, I might find something...but she is so focused on what she is doing, win or lose, she rarely lets anything on court bother her...I hope she can maintain the #1 ranking...tennis could use her...also, I can't recall Kim Clijsters ever abusing an official...questioning, yes....abusing, no...

...but I have even seen Caroline Wozniacki, known for being almost universally liked for her personality, mocking an official...not really a tantrum...but asking him if he's ever been to school is really condescending...



...but like I said, there are players like Sharapova and Clijsters who play the game the right way...
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Last edited by bangkokbobby; 06-17-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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Maybe they're allowed to, to make the sport more interesting. Just like in professional hockey, they're allowed to fight and hit each other with a stick...in NASCAR racing, they're allowed crash each other so the sport won't be boring...and the biggest joke of them all...Professional Wrestling...which is too obvious for being fake!
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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From the absurd department.

Police investigate assault allegation made against Nalbandian - CNN.com
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:12 AM   #8
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I don't know British law, but I'd love to see a prosecutor here trying to prove intent.
Oh well!!!

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
I don't know British law, but I'd love to see a prosecutor here trying to prove intent.
Oh well!!!

Viva Annika
Hey your honor...even you as a judge should know that his intent was not to hurt the line judge. Like other tennis players...the guy just had a hot tantrum. But I agree that he should be suspended and fined and enrolled in an "Anger Management" class. And to avoid future incident like that to happen again, those ITF, ATP and WTA should have a strict rules on how players behave on the court and how they treat the officials.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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Reread, DangerousOne.....that's what I said.

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