Apr/15

20

It’s Called Charisma, Dah-ling!

I loved the Djoko-Nadal match up on Saturday because even though Djoko won and he’s the dominant player in the world, Nadal has that charisma that most of the players on the ATP Tour do not have today. Watching the Djoko-Berdych finals on Sunday, I found myself not as captivated even though the match was a finals11070260_926583784061140_7229436411336171210_n and went three sets. As good as Djoko and Berdych are, they don’t have that X factor, charisma, dah-ling. Their matches are like museum art, beautiful, inspiring, but lacking real animus and gravitas. They’re both such pretty boys, but the camera doesn’t lie. Maybe that’s why there are so many slides off the players and onto their model-thin wife/fiancee looking tortured in the stands or onto Boris Becker, a player who had real presence and still does. It almost feels sometimes like Boris wants to just jump out of the stands and his tired and racked forty-something and grab a racquet to show Djoko and Berdych what real impassioned tennis playing looks like.

Djoko for all his prowess and insane talent, just isn’t a totally absorbing presence on the court the way Nadal is. The bronzed Spaniard has the tics, he has the face of a warrior; he has “Vamos.” Djoko, on the other hand, has his gumby-stretches, his drop shots and his precision shot-making, but his face, his presence isn’t as dramatic as Nadal. So when Djoko plays Berdych, who’s an awesome figure with thigh muscles like a body-builder and ultra-powerful strokes, but he also lacks the drama of intensity, I find myself not as intrigued in their match up.

There used to be a time, when I was a kid, where Johnny Mac would face Jimmy Connors or Guillermo Vilas or the enigmatic one, Bjorn Borg, and those were fascinating times. Mac like Nadal, was always ultra-aware of his surroundings. If anyone upset him, opponent, linesperson, umpire or fan, he’d lash out. Nadal reminded me of this the other day when some fan yelled out something he didn’t like and he stopped his service routine and gave the fan a stern look. Connors had that rock n roll stature, even with the Beatles’ cut hair, he was all kinetic energy even with the way he walked and tapped the toes of his sneakers on the court as he did so. Borg had the Nordic stare, the hair, the headband, the sleek body and the godly strokes. Vilas was this Argentinian manly-man with the windmill groundies and looks of a poet.

Djoko is like his nearest peer, Andy Murray, they might be slam winners and two of the greatest players of all time (of course, Djoko far exceeds Murray), but they lack gravitas. It’s like the difference between what separates a true movie star (Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford) and a not-quite-ready-for-movie-star-status actor, more of a character actor. Murray is appealing, but his game is too robotic and his visage is too Beavis and Butthead and his constant berating of his box is immature. Djoko has come a long way, but there’s still something lacking in his ability to captivate and completely draw in an audience. There’s the screwy way he looks when getting ready to return serve. There’s the too-perfect stature and the aristocratic way he struts around the court. He’s just not a player who excites avid emotion or die-hard fan devotion except for his inner circle. That’s why Djoko needs a Nadal or a Federer or even a Tsonga or Monfils, two players who will never win a slam but both have that X-factor in spades, to make his matches classics and fully watchable.

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37 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Dan I totally disagree with you. You’re blind to the Djokovic charisma which he has in abundance. Want proof, I’ll give you the proof: That fan in front row of the SF and F, jumping up and throwing five punch combinations when Djokovic won important points vs. Rafa. Best fan I’ve ever seen at a pro match. Djokovic inspired this passion from the fan. All match long he was locked in, fighting the match with Djokovic. Locked in dead serious looks when Djokovic readied for a point. The TV camera, presumably Euro feed, was showing quite a bit of this super fan. It’s not just nationalist Serbians who love Djokovic now, I talk with people/fans at various pro tournaments and a lot of people are really starting to love and appreciate Djokovic for not only his amazing tennis but his personality, flair, character and maybe most of all, his sense of humor. Djokovic is not funny he’s hilarious – when he wants to be, when he’s not locked in the throws of a battle. Djokovic brings laughs and humor to the serious business of tennis, heck he’s even made the most serious guy of all time John McEnroe a huge supporter of his. Dan, as a Johnny Mac fan yourself, it’s perplexing that you fail to appreciate the essence of Djokovic who, when he wants to let it flow, has more charisma than any player in the sport today.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Savannah has a 33 yr old Chilean named Julio Peralta who qualified and plays Stratham today. Peralta is ranked around 600 in the world. Still grinding. Peralta is such a longshot underdog he makes Victor Estrella look like Apollo Creed.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Look, one crazy fan doesn’t mean you have charisma. Djoko’s charisma was best highlighted in that match against Federer at the US Open, where he hit that sick forehand return of serve winner at match point and then had to put up his arms and basically coerce the fans to cheer from him.

    One of the TC announcers rightly said yesterday that Djoko is always looking for the fans to love him. That means they don’t really love him or why would he keep looking for that emotion? Djoko’s gotten better in this regard. In the Nadal match, after Nadal made some superhuman efforts and shots, Djoko came back with his own miracles and it was impressive that he has so much confidence now that he doesn’t get cowed anymore when Nadal is playing great tennis.

    But Djoko v Berdych, where the play is great, but it becomes patterned (there was one point yesterday where they hit about 20 consecutive backhand crosscourt two handers), and both players are not great at playing to the crowd, the tennis can become a little rote. Djoko wins mostly by making his opponent capitulate rather than setting them down with an onslaught of unhittable shots.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Djokovic is beloved by many but not all, many still are loyal to Rafa and Fed and resent his ascent to the top. It’s natural, same thing happened to Larry Holmes after Muhammad Ali. Trying to follow Rafa and Fed was impossible yet Djokovic has done it. Djokovic is the most charismatic player in tennis today, but he holds it back a lot now. No player in history could make the world laugh and smile and have fun in a tennis stadium like Djokovic. Djokovic has managed to inject humor and laughs into the serious cutthroat sport of tennis.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    What? You think Djoko is more charismatic than Jack Sock? Seriously, one of the reasons I really like Sock is that he smiles during matches and he’s naturally boyishly relaxed and good looking. This kid, Kyrgios, while some would call him bad-mannered, I think is very charismatic. Fed can be charismatic, but can he can also be aloof. Monfils is charismatic, but he can also be boorish, like he was on Saturday against Berdych, when he was talking incessantly to his new coach. Tsonga is naturally charismatic and so is Gulbis, when he’s not breaking racquets.

    But there is certainly a personality dearth in the game today. FLopez has charisma and good looks. It’s hard to be charismatic when competing, but the older generation, the Nastase’s, Newcombe’s, and certainly Rafter’s had it. McEnroe and Connors were dramatic and charismatic.

  • Guga Beluga · April 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    interesting tennis site….

    i think scoop is mixing up charismatic with being funny…

    safin and kuerten were charismatic….not djoko…

    djoko has shaked his “the new punk” persona but he’ll never win the hearts of international fans like fed and rafa can – where they transcend the sport and be universally liked and inspiring….not djoko (sorry scoop)…

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Yes I do rate Djokovic as the most charismatic player in ATP. “A personal power to attract and inspire others. Exceptional charm.” Yep, that’s Djokovic. Sock has a lot of charisma too. Many players do. All the ones you mentioned. Djokovic inviting that kid to share a Perrier under the umbrella at FO last year was an Ali moment. That kid just lit up. Fed or Nadal never created a moment like that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Guga Beluga, love that name, I think Djokovic has as much charisma as Safin and Guga. You guys are underestimating Djokovic. Djokovic has created so many magical moments on the court, the Johnny Mac post match exo after beating Moya at US Open years ago. Inviting the kid to his changeover to share the Perrier at FO. The imitations. The imitation he did of Stepanek DURING their US Open five setter on Armstrong a few years ago. The Wozniacki press conference a few years ago. This guy has as much charisma as Muhammad Ali, if you just look at him with an open mind and appreciate how difficult his journey has been to follow and surpass Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Tremendous charisma, tremendous champion. Welcome to the site Guga Beluga.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 20, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I think that’s been well-established that Djoko, while he’s gained admirers, is not as high on the likability scale or international fame level as Nadal and Federer.

    I also like your point, Guga Beluga, that Djoko has matured a lot from his days, as you put it, as “the new punk” because there was a time when Djoko was failing heavily on the class level. His parents were boors, saying their son would unseat Federer and Nadal (they happened to be right, though, but not right away), and wearing t-shirts with their son’s likeness on them, and Djoko had a reputation as Roddick ridiculed, of being a hypochondriac and Djoko’s impersonations did not go over well.

    Djoko made a 180-turn character turn to rival the likes of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. He even looks a little like Nixon and Reagan. It is impressive what he has done and how his team has shaped him. Hiring Becker was a bold move, especially because it seemed to fly in the wind of Djoko’s image of being a high-character guy. Becker has also gone a long way to rehabbing his once flagging reputation.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 21, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Dan, what is the difference of Djokovic’s parents wearing shirts with their son on them and Robbie Federer always wearing the RF hat? Same thing Support and pride. And saying Djokovic looks like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan? I don’t see even a hint of a resemblance there at all, why don’t you just say Djokovic looks like Hitler and Stalin and Hannibal Lecter? It’s amazing the disrespect Djokovic still gets. What a class act, great champion who has overcome insurmountable challenges to become the best player in the world. And he’s done it with class, honor and a hilarious sense of humor.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 21, 2015 at 9:32 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLkZ4GMBOHM

    Have you forgotten this incident, Scoop, from the 2008 US Open after Djoko defeated Roddick, and then in the after-match interview with Michael Barkan, called out Roddick for saying he had 16 different injuries. The crowd started booing him and Barkan pointed out that Djoko had crowd support, but that could quickly change if he took this truculent stance.

    Look, as much as I don’t like Nixon and Reagan, even I wouldn’t compare them to Hitler and Stalin. Firstly, I personally think there is a slight resemblance between Djoko and those two ex-Presidents, but also, there’s a cloud of secrecy that surrounds Djokovic from the gluten-free diet to the hyperbaric oxygen chamber that I think is comparable to the Nixonian Watergate caper and Reagan’s Iran Contra.

    Now I know Nixon once wanted to call plays for George Allen’s Redskins so he wasn’t a tennis guy and neither was Reagan, but I don’t think my Djoko-Nixon-Reagan comparison was so far off base. Honestly, though, I think Djoko’s a very inspiring, intelligent, admirable guy, but his tennis and his persona, I think, need a healthy dose of contrasts in his opponent’s style or else you get Djoko-Murray or Djoko-Berdych, which in my eyes, aren’t the most exciting matches.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 21, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Heat of the battle. You didn’t know that at Ashe Kids Day before this US Open Roddick and Djokovic played a tiebreak exo and Roddick drop shotted Djok and then fired a huge forehand at his head. Unbelievable. So these two had a grudge at this time. Djokovic won and rubbed it in a little. Fans didn’t understand the tensions between the two. Then moments after this interview, Roddick assaulted Djokovic and had to be pulled off, then he verbally abused Djokovic to the point that he made him cry tears down his cheeks. From my source inside the locker room who witnessed the attack. Also he said, if the attendant staff wasn’t there to separate the two, Roddick would have beat the **** out of Djokovic. I was told Roddick did something similar to Federer and Nishikori and Spadea in San Jose. So just to give you more of the story behind the fraction of the story. Again, I totally respect how Djokovic handled this and Roddick’s bullying BS. Although Roddick deserved to be knocked out cold IMO.

  • mat4 · April 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    There was also the Roddick interview before the match. It was, the least we can say, very ugly.

    As a Novak fan, I can say that the behaviour of the public seldom has anything to do with charisma. Novak is very popular in Italy (just remember his matches there vs Murray and Nadal), in China, in Eastern Europe, and more and more in Australia. It is often for different reasons — in China, Serbia is a popular country, in Italy, because he wore an Italian brand and had an Italian coach, in Australia, because he became “their” champion, the player with the most AO in the Open era, etc.

    As for “charisma”, it is a word almost devoid of sense.

  • Bryan · April 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    “There used to be a time, when I was a kid, where Johnny Mac would face Jimmy Connors or Guillermo Vilas or the enigmatic one, Bjorn Borg, and those were fascinating times.”

    Mark, you’re from my generation and share my sense of aesthetic drama. When your childhood hero is Johnny Mac, it’s hard to get passionate about the stoic players of today. That’s why I like Gulbis and Janowicz. They have a dramatic flair, for better or worse.

  • gans · April 21, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Dan and scoop,
    hope all is well.

    Nadal, Murray and even Federer fade away when it comes to charisma,spirit,vivacity and humor of Djokovic! If he is not liked that much, it has nothing to do with any of the above-mentioned qualities.Beloved fans of Nadal and Federer cannot digest the fact that Djokovic has gotten better than both of these great champion. It’s really hard to digest. It is easy for Federer and Nadal fans to like a Tsonga or Monfils because they are not a threat.

    Just wait until Djokovic wins French- he would become literally unstoppable and these Fedal fans would hate him even more.

    Djokovic has brought some life into tennis court- much, much more than Federer, Nadal and Murray combined. Like Scoop said, he is keeping his fantastic personality subdued so the immature fans of the other two greats would forgive him for beating these two Champs consistently and winning every title there is to be won. He has already won his share of fans despite him curbing his charming personality. Let’s embrace the champion bcos otherwise more tough pills are waiting!

    Sorry if there are typos bcos I am typing from my mobile device.
    Cheers!

  • luckystar · April 22, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Sorry, Djoko not as charismatic as Safin or Guga. No matter how low ranked and ill tempered Safin was, fans paid to see him. He’s just that charismatic and drop dead good looking that win or lost, boorish or not, people just loved to watch him play.

    Fedal’s charisma is unquestionable. Fed’s following is almost cultish, Fed can do no wrong in the eyes of his followers. Rafa, OTOH, is that boyish man child warrior that wins the hearts of many, young or old.

    Djoko may have his own charm but he’s not there with the likes of Safin or Guga, and certainly not there with Fedal.

  • luckystar · April 22, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Nah, charisma has nothing to do with winning matches. Winning or losing, Fed and Rafa have their charisma; Novak may be at the top of the rankings now but that doesn’t mean he’s beating Fedal in the charisma dept. Fedal are loved worldwide, wherever they are.

  • Gaurang · April 22, 2015 at 5:36 am

    I like Djokovic. He always respectfully greets the opponent after the match is done, irrespective of whether he lost or won. He always tries to be respectful of his opponent in many situations. He has a funny streak — he hit with Johnny Mac after a short match at the US Open several years ago, he did so many imitations, and his funny cameos in post-match interviews are awesome (the one with Wozniacki) … as pointed to by Scoop. Also remember his press conference cameo with Dimitrov (see it on youtube if you havent) …hahaha.

    Ofcourse Nadal and Federer have even greater charisma. They are great personalities with a lot of followers. Sometimes Novak just tries to be more subdued and not let his full personality come out, unlike these two. But if Novak goes on to win several more slams, winning some great matches, more and more fans will look up to him. Already, Novak has been part of some of the greatest tennis matches ever, more than any other player that I know of.

    Nadal, has a lot of admirers, but also a lot of haters. For example, on this thread:

    http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=587961

    Nadal leads the most disliked players list (along with Raonic, he is the “big 2” in the list). To see the current leaderboard, look at post #236 in the thread. Also look at #4 post, the commenter has given detailed reasons why he hates each player in his top 10 hated player list. Its really, really funny! 🙂

  • Anne · April 22, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Do you know who really has Charisma? Federer and Nadal of course! Both of them has that special X-factor in spades and no one else on the ATP tour comes close.

    In our opinion, Djokovic has no charisma at all. He always comes across as showing off and craving for attention. He will do anything to get noticed and it is very obvious that he tries too hard.

    Remember the time he always performs a dance when he wins a match? That surely is most uncalled for and we can understand why the players especially his opponents detest that! We as the audience find that very disrespectful as well.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Anne, Welcome to the site. Yes I agree totally Federer and Nadal both are very very charismatic in different ways. Djokovic has charisma and he’s a showman too, not unlike the boxer Muhammad Ali who invented the famous dance move “The Ali Shuffle.” Creativity and emotional expressions of passion and joy are good for tennis theater and the fans love it. Djokovic is a very fair sportsman who always shows good sportsmanship to his opponent when the match is over, win or lose.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 7:40 am

    You must be our Lucky Star. My favorite Madonna song ) Borderline too ) Nobody smiles or creates laughs and humor on the court like Djokovic, that is the essence of his charisma, aside from his spectacular playing skills. Agree, Fed and Nadal are globally beloved and revered but when all is said and done, I believe Djokovic will also be globally beloved and respected similarly. Welcome to the site luckystar.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 7:43 am

    The long awaited return of Gans and he makes a great post of many strong points. Agree completely with the detailed intricate observations on this matter. Even if you did not rhyme your thoughts into a poem this time 🙂 Welcome back Gans, GREAT POST.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Well said Mat4.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Mat4, I’ll make “sense” out of the word, charisma. When I played in college, we’d go to this big tournament in Albany every year, and play against many of the Div. II and III schools in the area, Tufts, Colgate, Hobart, all the SUNY schools, and even this small college in Bronxville, NY, Concordia. The latter is a tennis powerhouse. Even today, they kill big schools like Fordham. Concordia always gets some great foreign players to come and play and they’re great players. One guy recently was a peer of Djokovic and played in the same academy as him growing up.

    This was the early-1980’s and the No. 1 player on Concordia was this Brazilian named Borges. And he came out dressed completely in Bjorn Borg tenniswear, the Fila pinstriped outfit. And everyone was totally psyched out. This guy looked so cool. Those were the days when charisma sold tennis wear. Young players dressed in Borg wear or Mac wear, Tachini, because these guys were so cool.

    I don’t see that happening today with Djokovic. No one’s wearing his Japanese wear tennis stuff as far I can see, thus his charima ranking is low.

  • Guga Beluga · April 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    thanks scoop / dan – what a great website.

    djoko’s tactics are kinda forced IMO as he realizes he doesnt have same the charisma / fan-base as fed or nadal or safin / guga or even ferrero……so he’s gotta do a little dance or a joke (no pun intended) or give a ballkid a drink from time to time….as i mentioned earlier – being funny or outgoing is not the same as being charismatic..

    wow ! that anectdote on roddick in the locker-room is classic….i’d love to read more about that stuff on the site…”behind closed doors stuff”….also, i heard about phillippoussiss, years ago having an altercation with the bryan brothers in the locker room, in their towels as well – but dont know over what..

    lastly, tennis is such a cut-throat sport that aside from the on-court drama – the friction or friendship amongst the players must be very scathing at times..

    what other locker room tid-bits are you guys familiar with ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Guga, I first interviewed Djokovic one on one at US Open in 2005 after his five set win vs. Monfils in the first round. He had charisma then, very well spoken and good with the media. Very likeable kid. With the criticism he got for annoying Fed and Rafa and Roddick, he’s tapered back his goofy funny side. But it still comes out on occasion. I don’t think anything about his antics are or were contrived, he has showman qualities like Ali and he is a spontaneous personality. He’s one of my favorite players of all time and I respect him just as much other other favorites Rafa and Fed, just as much, for different reasons.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Boy, we could write a book at some of the dramas that have happened in the locker rooms ) Okay, a quick run of tales I was told by inside sources who worked inside the locker rooms: Courier almost brawling with Chang’s brother Carl after night US Open match. Courier saying: What are you gonna do about it? Rios very nearly getting punched out by a certain player. Lendl awed the other players, when he walked by, players looked up at him in awe, more so than they look at Fed or Rafa. Also, Lendl used to walk around the locker room naked except for wearing his socks lol. Reporters were allowed in locker rooms just a few years ago but they kicked us out. I used to go in a lot to do Biofiles. Saw Korda sleeping in a corner on the floor in the fetal position at US Open. Once saw Safin showing Escude fingernail scratch marks all over his back lol. Bryan Bros almost brawled with Knowles Nestor, this was many years ago. Roddick made Nishikori cry after their San Jose match, Kei said he was so shook up he didn’t sleep for four days. Nastase asked Rios for an autograph for his niece or nephew and got rejected. Roy Emerson tried to talk with Rios, congratulating him for a win at a major, Rios turned to him and said, “Who the F*** are you?” On a TV monitor players were watching Jankovic play, she did a split they showed in slow motion and young Fed was watching and yelled, “There is a GOD.” F Lo was sitting naked on the bench and Berdych was eyeballing him from afar, a friend of Brian Baker told me this two years ago.

  • dan markowitz · April 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    You can’t be serious, Scoop, comparing Djoko to Ali! Ali was so spontaneous and off-the-wall fun and entertaining, Djoko–like Guga says–his antics (although besides the impersonations which he’s long since eschewed, I don’t know what they are)have been slipped into his routine, I would guess, by his handlers.

    At Indy Wells, a reporter asked Djoko about his ballet dancing with his wife, and Djoko was cordial about it and open to discussing it which I thought was very likable and cool about him, but there’s little edgy or zany about Djoko. There’s a certain stiffness about him, which surprisingly, develops sometimes in his game where–out of the blue–he’ll suddenly look awkward and almost drunk in his movements.

    Maybe we can agree that we don’t always know what charisma is, but we know what it isn’t and Djoko is not charismatic for the most part.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Djokovic has personal power to attract and inspire others. That’s the essence of charisma. I have seen fans wearing homemade “I LOVE DJOKOVIC” shirts. I have spoken with fans young and old and middle age who adore him. I have seen Djokovic whip a grand slam stadium into a frenzy with his play and also his personality/sense of humor. This guy has as much charisma as anyone in sports today. Even Pete Sampras, who used to take shots at Djokovic, has come around and likes him now. It’s nonsense to try to say Djokovic lacks charisma. Complete nonsense.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Gulbis stumbles to another loss, in 3 sets to also struggling Paire. Rock bottom? Not yet.

  • Dan markowitz · April 22, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Man, Gulbis should be forced to play Challengers until he wins one and then he can play on the Tour again. Too bad he best Travers else he might rival Vince for longest losing streak.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 23, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Gulbis is shattered like Humpty Dumpty. He will need to pull a Spadea, Brian Baker, Bogie or Estrella, four of the greatest comebacks from the ATP abyss, of all times. It remains to be seen if Gulbis love the sport, the grind, if he has the passion and drive to make it back up the rankings. Sorry to say, it’s doubtful. But only he knows the answer. It’s about how much HE wants it.

  • Guga Beluga · April 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    wow scoop ! those are great anecdotes from the locker-room..

    “Roy Emerson tried to talk with Rios, congratulating him for a win at a major, Rios turned to him and said, “Who the F*** are you?””….that’s funny and that’s so rios (classless and thug-ish ! haha

    “On a TV monitor players were watching Jankovic play, she did a split they showed in slow motion and young Fed was watching and yelled, “There is a GOD.””….i actually heard around the campfire that fed is pretty crazy and arrogant…..he’s got the media act down solid……c’mon now – this is a tennis player we’re talking about and prlly the greatest of all time tennista on the planet’s history !! Fed’s gotta be the cockiest sob ! also heard fed referring to the rock (wrestler) as one of his idols ! haha

    F Lo was sitting naked on the bench and Berdych was eyeballing him from afar, a friend of Brian Baker told me this two years ago…..haha – that’s creepy and wouldnt be surprised berdych is a closet bi-sexual – granted his wife is hot as hell….

    this actually segways into another pulpy subject….who are the homos and closet homos in pro tennis ?? haha…..i heard agassi is a closet homo….scoop, any heresay or rumors you know of ?

    what a great tennis site man !!

    regards,

    guga beluga

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    There are many many many ) A couple I actually witnessed was after Nalbandian lost early at the US Open the year after he semi-finaled in 2003, he was sitting on the floor at his locker just crushed, sat their motionless for almost an hour, looking like a guy who just got the news his family died in a plane crash. Another was when Fernando Gonzalez lost to Taylor Dent at US Open in five sets, he came back and smashed all his Babolats and dumped all his adidas attire and shoes into the garbage can.

  • Bryan · April 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    ” Lo was sitting naked on the bench and Berdych was eyeballing him from afar, a friend of Brian Baker told me this two years ago.”

    Was Barker’s friend suggesting Berdych was bi? Nice tales from the locker room. I do recall the Roddick-Nishikori ruckus at San Jose. Never got the details of what Andy said or did, but lots of people here in the SF area knew about that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Not sure he was implying T Berd is bi Bryan, just an observation he made. No details on what A Rod said to Kei but he’s got a very punishing lip and way with biting words.

  • Guga Beluga · April 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    reat tid-bits scoop !

    poor nalby – got robbed in the sf against roddick that one year with bad line calls.

    classic gonzo !!

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