Tennis Prose



Shocking Brawl At The Court!

Recently in Lakewood Ranch, Florida there was a violent punchout on a tennis court. The crime happened in the first set of an 4.5/5.0 league match after a line call dispute.

Both of the adult senior players are distinguished – the one from Chile named Gaston competed in the Orange Bowl many years ago as a junior and the other from Egypt named Tamer, played ITF senior tournaments.

My source explained what happened, a second hand account. Tamer was leading 3-2 but in the previous game he believed Gaston made a bad call on the baseline and showed a false ball mark. After the changeover, Tamer found a different mark touching the line which he presented to Gaston who refused to admit he made a bad, cheating line call. The source for this story also played Gaston earlier in the league and said on his own set point, he hit a winner inside the line by at least six inches which Gaston called out. Gaston ended up winning that first set and the match, aided by the bad line call.

So Tamer, a very big six-foot-three Egyptian weighing well over 230 pounds continued to argue with Gaston, who stands about 5-10 and weighs about 165. As the dispute escalated, Gaston said to Tamer, “Why don’t you lose with dignity,” eventhough it was Gaston who was losing 2-3 despite the bad call.

At that point in the confrontation, Tamer suddenly punched Gaston in the face, smashing a bone in his face and drawing blood. The match ended then and there but Gaston did not call the police or file any report, before rushing to the hospital for medical attention.

I know each of the players very briefly. Gaston is a good, friendly guy but we never played, we just hit briefly at a 4.5 money tournament in Lakewood Ranch. I remember Gaston best for a Marcelo Rios story he told me about seeing the former ATP world no. 1 practice in Chile, and he claimed Rios took a piss right on the court in front of the dozen or so witnesses watching.

Tamer and I played against each other in doubles in our Sunday group at Palm Aire Country Club and had no incident, though we did have a short argument a few weeks earlier during our practice matches with other players, pertaining to politics and the greatness of America attracting minorities from all over the world. In that doubles match, my team won 64 46 10-5 and Tamer was well-behaved that day. It’s a high quality group, many former college, junior and senior standout players compete each Sunday morning in this prestigious invitation only group. Big Ten Conference Champions, former Davis Cup captains and various gold ball winners play in this group.

So the moral of the story is always be careful on the tennis court about making bad line calls and engaging in a heated argument with your opponent because a sudden punch can zonk you on the nose out of the blue if you are not careful, respectful, fair and honest.


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