Once again real life decided to intrude on my tennis. With tomorrow expected to feature rain, rain and more rain I thought it might be prudent to get out and put some vittles in the freezer. I'm not the type of woman who goes out and shoots something to feed my family so I went to Whole Foods and purchased beef, lamb, chicken and seafood. It's now in the freezer. I live in New York. If I was to walk into Central Park, Van Cortlandt Park or the New York Botanical Gardens with a hunting rifle I think you all know where I'd end up. Now that the food situation is pretty much taken care of I can focus on the verbal throw down between Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic that has pretty much been the topic of discussion since Novak decided to get back into Andy's face over the comments Andy made at his presser re Djokovic's penchant for falling ill during matches.
If you want the bare cold facts Craig has posted them including the video from last night. His entry leaves me free to speak my mind about this latest brouhaha involving Novak and/or his family.
Allow me to ramble a bit. The first reason I turned off Novak was his behavior during his match against Gael Monfils where he gave the impression he was drawing his last breath before being miraculously resurrected and going on to win that match. I'm not a Monfils uber fan but poor sportsmanship is poor sportsmanship.
Novak's next appearance on the stage, I mean court, that bothered me was his performance against Richard Gasquet in Estoril. Once again he appeared to be near death, gasping for air and unable to compete. And once again he seemed to be the recipient of a miraculous cure as he ran and leapt like a gazelle in closing out the match against Gasquet.
I guess the family got jealous because they really put on a full scale production at this years Australian Open. Mr. and Mrs. Djokovic created a distraction in the stands because some French tennis fans were being very vocal in their support of FrenchmanJo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Djokovic's called security and tried to have the miscreants thrown out. They weren't, but security remained nearby just in case the wild eyed French tennis fans took out their frustration on the poor innocent Djokovic family.
After that we didn't see the parents for awhile. They were of course at the Slams but remained oddly quiet. As for their offspring he had become quite selective about his performances. I mean he would pull shit against people he felt were lesser beings but your rarely if ever saw him pull it against the top players or in the top tennis venues.
I say all of this to put Andy Roddick's comments in context. During Djokovic's match against Tommy Robredo many fans were cheering for Tommy and telling him not to fall for the okey doke. I guess Novak considered Tommy worthy to see his full repertoire. He had problems with both ankles, breathing and i forget what else but there were at least four medical timeouts for various and sundry problems. Robredo, rightly outraged, called him on it. Naturally in Andy's post match presser the subject of how he planned to handle the Thespian Serb came up.
I've seen the video clip. When he's not behaving like a Neanderthal on the court Roddick can be pretty funny. I thought his comments in the context of the presser, were made in a joking manner. It's a long established American habit to exaggerate the number of things that happened or didn't happen to or around someone. I mean when someone says there were at least fifty million people in the street we know that there weren't literally that many people in the street but that it seemed like it. It's just like saying everyone and their brother attended an event. There were a lot of people there not literally everyone and their brother. This is what Andy was doing when he said Novak had at least sixteen injuries by now. It was a funny.
(I hope I don't offend any Neanderthal's out there. It might be better to say that sometimes on court Andy behaves like a first class jerk.)
I guess the Djokovic clan didn't get Andy's joke. With all the help the McEnroe family gives to Novak you'd think someone would have explained to them that Andy was just kidding about sixteen injuries. That Novak has now been booed in Melbourne and New York, two places where you would think he'd have a large fan base, is serious business. Not like you can plaster his face all over New York now is it? It's often been said that Novak would be ideal as the face of men's tennis especially since he speaks English well.
As someone who can speak another language I can tell you that idioms are the hardest thing to translate from one language to another. The cultural references that go into an idiom are often not learned by the non native speaker for a number of years. I think this is what happened here. At least I hope it is since I can't believe Novak seriously wants tennis fans to think that he is really all that fragile at times. I mean he did admit to the Monfils chicanery didn't he? Or does he really think his "people" will get his ass out of this current sling?
Some fans have said his parents could counsel him on how to work and play better with others. Really? The two people who were leading chants of "Nole" from their box as the crowd rightly booed their child? The ones who called security on fans in Melbourne? I don't think so. I think "Nole" has learned his behavior patterns from them and that it's too late to change them. As we say here, fruit don't fall far from the tree. I mean when Srjdan Djokovic physically challenged Serbian broadcasters for not being supportive enough of his son what do you expect his son to do? And just think, there are two more Djokovic sons coming up.
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Friday, September 05, 2008