Tennis Prose



Racquet Smashing Becoming Illegal?

One of Ernests Gulbis’ broken Wilsons in Delray Beach.

By Scoop Malinowski

The ATP announced stricter punishment for on-court misconduct…

“Effective immediately and as we head into the clay court swing, the ATP officiating team has been directed to take a stricter stance in judging violations of the code of conduct.” — Andrea Gaudenzi.

This means after the controversial racquet smash/abuse incidents by Alexander Zverev and Jenson Brooksby, the tennis establishment is ramping up penalties and punishments on equipment breaking on court.

Federer, Djokovic, Serena, Kyrgios, Bagdhatis, Roddick, McEnroe, Agassi and many other high profile champions have memorably expressed their rage against their racquets on court and the heavy discouragement of the expression of anger and frustration on court may eliminate an element of the sport that should be left alone, though of course, policed carefully with discretion.

Tennis is an emotional sport and frustration and anger are a part of the equation as most players lose matches most of the time.

Perhaps players will find a different, more creative way to vent anger, such as Agassi screaming F*** You multiple times to the chair umpire into his towel which muffled the obscenity. Also some clever players like Coco Vandeweghe even have taken their racquets off court (bathroom break, etc) and destroyed them – away from public viewing.

Yes, anger and frustration and rage need to be moderated and policed, but it must not be eliminated because failure and hatred of failure are a part of the sport and life in general. Yes all players need to strive for self control but being perfect all the time is impossible.

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  • Harold · April 7, 2022 at 8:53 am

    From the man who broke the Columbia U bubble record, for most rackets thrown up n a Doubles Match. What was it 25 times..

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 8, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Fascinating how racquet tossing probably bothers you more than the jeffrey epstein ghislaine maxwell pedo island elite blackmail ring. Jesus Loves you bro.

  • Cory · April 9, 2022 at 2:44 am

    Racquet smashing is a human action… tennis is played by humans… my wish is that the referees would allow humans to be humans… i love seeing raw emotion: frustration, anger, jubilation, glory, and everything that comes with all of it including when players boil over. Let humans be human. Tennis is mental boxing – it’s a sport of anguish… as it should be.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 9, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Well said Cory, I heard a top 200 player who struggled for a decade in Challengers and Futures talking to us at Sarasota Open a few years ago say something very memorable, “Tennis is a vicious sport…” That player or his I believe twin brother ended up never making it, and I haven’t seen his name in over a year in any results. We have seen Federer smash a racquet – -if he can do it, the Mr Perfect “God of tennis” than anyone can.



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