Tennis Prose




Sep/21

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US Open 2021: Conspiracy To Humiliate Tsitsipas?

Back in 1992 at Wimbledon when Monica Seles was on top of the tennis world, her dominance of the WTA sparked a rebellion of sorts. Since they could not beat Seles on the court, a new plan of attack was devised – off the court.

Seles’ victims began openly complaining to the media about Monica’s grunting and shrieking when she hit the ball. Many players constantly complained including Martina Navratilova who even told reporters Seles grunting “sounds like a stuck pig.” A very cruel, distasteful, and offensive comment by Navratilova but it served a purpose: embarrass and humiliate Seles to try to get her out of her game and her normal competitive habits.

The media covering that Wimbledon took the bait and ran with it. Printing story after story about Seles and her grunting. It became the talk of the tournament. One newspaper even created a “gruntometer” which claimed her grunting was approximate to a speeding train or tornado or something.

Seles rampaged through the draw without losing a set and then clashed with Navratilova in the semis. Seles won 62 67 64 to set up the final vs Steffi Graf. For the final, Seles broke down to all the criticism and opted to play quietly with out her typical grunting. The fraction change of rhythm and the loss of her natural high intensity cost Seles any chance at winning. The non-grunting version of the ghost of Seles was beaten by Graf 62 61.

Fast foward to 2021 US Open. Stefanos Tsitsipas used a bathroom break during his first round clash with former champion Andy Murray which according to some, was a key tactical maneuver which helped the world no. 3 come from a two sets to one deficit to win in five. Murray vehemently complained about Tsitisipas’s stalling tactics, insisting it caused him to lose his rhythm and momentum. Murray did not explain why Tsitsipas did not lose any rhythm or momentum by his own trips to the toilet.

As a 35 year old veteran of the ATP World Tour, you would think Murray would know how to handle a short delay such as a toilet break, injury timeout or rain delay without falling apart mentally and physically.

It partially seems the very ambitious and successful Tsitsipas is very close to winning his first Grand Slam – he lost a five setter to Djokovic in the Roland Garros final this year – and a number of players like Murray and Alexander Zverev and others resent Tsitsipas. And they are creating a controversy designed to distract, embarrass and irritate Tsitsipas as he is about to become a Grand Slam champion.

Quite similar to the Seles grunting side show drama at 1992 Wimbledon.

Bathroom breaks are perfectly legal. Djokovic used one in the Roland Garros final. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and countless other Grand Slam champions have used real or fake toilet breaks to their advantage in the past. And it’s perfectly fair for Tsitsipas to do it also.

We will see how this controversy plays out and if all the criticism accumulates to crumble Tsitsipas mentally, as it did to Seles in 1992. Or this silly complaining campaign could backfire and anger and motivate Tsitsipas to play at an even higher, greater, more vicious level than he ever has before.

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5 comments

  • Charles Wadlington · September 2, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Stop crying Andy. He’s younger and stronger. We all had to face the ages. It’s his time.

    PGPJ

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 2, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Charles, and Tsitsipas is far more confident and higher ranked at the moment. Murray is Murray but he totally crumbled and choked away the winning position at the end of the second set. Murray is playing well but playing well and doing it in a critical pressure moment is a different ballgame. Murray has not got the job done in the big moment in a very long time. He’s blaming Tsitsipas to disguise his choke.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 2, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Not sure if Tsitsipas has any friends on the tour. Everybody knows Tsitsipas is super ambitious and he wants to be the next ATP king and of course no player likes this or wants it to happen. They all want to stop Tsitsipas and break him down mentally to be a beta Gasquet or Mannarino. Tsitsipas really wants it, like young Djokovic did. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and if Tsitsipas lets it all bother him and lets it all break him down.

  • Douglas Day · September 4, 2021 at 7:20 am

    Please comment on the far more explosive charge (and the reason extra minutes roll by) of coaching via text. I dont think he denied this either which is shocking.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 4, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Doug, I’m not bothered about coaching or illegal coaching in tennis. When it happens to me in my tournaments, I don’t care, it fires me up extra to want to beat the opponent and his coach. I would never think of crying or whining about it. And I don’t see why professional players whine and cry about it, just shut up and play. I actually don’t believe Tsitsipas needs coaching but it’s a Mouratoglou scheme to draw attention to himself. Strong rumors are that he pays Serena, Gauff and Tsitsipas to APPEAR as their coach, to promote himself and the illusion he’s a great coach.

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