Tennis Prose



Fist Pumps Fly At French Open

By Scoop Malinowski

The fist pump has become the number one expression of tennis supremacy and superiority at the French Open.

No statistics have been kept, at this point, but I would venture to say every match of the tournaments features multitudes of different forms of fist pumps by each competitor. Some seem to do it after every point one, like Carlos Alcaraz.

The most popular form of a fist pump is to hit the winning shot and then punctuate it with a raised fist and glare to the player box.

A more animated version of the fist pump is one that Rafael Nadal prefers to exhibit and that’s the uppercut punch fist pump.

Another variation is the biceps flex/fist pump accompanied by a sneering stare which may be saying, “Your time on this court with me is destined for failure.”

There is at least another variation, one of more defiance, arrogance and imperial vibes. That is the raised fist almost straight up the heavens – the fist pump of choice of Novak Djokovic. You have very high status or to be the best player in the world to use that refined version of the fist pump.

The fist pump is not reserved only for the big stars. Even juniors and far less renowned ATP and WTA players will confidently give a fist pump gesture after they perform a winning shot.

The fist pump is omni-present now in tennis, more so than yelling Vamos or CMON! both celebratory gestures which suddenly seem a outdated.

I can’t even remember the first memory of the fist pump. I don’t remember McEnroe, Connors or Borg doing it. To my knowledge and memory, I also can’t recall Sampras or Agassi doing it. Maybe Agassi did a very soft, more gentle fist pump, more to pump himself up rather than to preen to the crowds and TV cameras.

Come to think of it, maybe it was Lleyton Hewitt who introduced the fist pump into pro tennis, along with his shrilling CMONNNN!!! roars.

I am not sure on the precision of this report about fist pumps, it’s a subject matter that has not been explored. Please allow me to do further research to try to figure out who deserves credit for making the “fist pump” a very popular element of pro tennis viewing. Stay tuned…

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