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Jimmy Arias Got Savage Revenge On Rowdy Rome Fans

By Scoop Malinowski

Rome tennis fans have a history of animated and sometimes aggressive and irritating behavior against the players, as we saw yesterday regarding Denis Shapovalov in his three set win vs Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

Arias, winner of five career ATP singles titles and ranked as high as no. 5 in April 1984, was defending the Rome title in 1983. In the first round of the 1984 Rome Open, Arias defeated 61 ranked Cassio Motta or Brazil 62 62 before facing Adriano Panatta’s 67th ranked brother Claudio in the second round…

“I was defending champ of Rome, I’m playing an Italian Claudio Panatta, 4-1 up in the third set for me, break point, so match basically over if I win that point. He hit a ball that’s out literally by six inches. I’m trying to argue with the umpire, the umpire keeps telling me, ‘I can’t overrule the call.’ Which was making me irate. Because the call was, ‘I don’t know.’ Trying to talk to the umpire, the crowd is going bananas. And eventually they all began chanting, “SHAMO, SHAMO!” which means roughly, ‘stupid’ in Italian. I end up losing the argument and the match (46 76 75). So I walk off the court and all the sudden all the people who were singing stupid to me, now want my autograph. So, obviously, my first reaction is, No. But then I go, ‘No, actually fine. What’s your name?’ (He signed), “To Paulo, FUCK OFF, Jimmy Arias.” Literally stayed 45 minutes and signed to each person personally a rotation of “FUCK OFF”, “SUCK MY” and “FUCK YOU.” I think those were the three that I wrote. It was on the big tennis balls in those days.”

(Stay tuned for the full Jimmy Arias Biofile interview to be posted soon here…)

Two weeks later after Rome, Arias also executed his revenge on Claudio Panatta at Roland Garros, defeating his adversary 76 63 63 in the third round. Arias then beat Brian Gottfried in five sets in the round of 16 before falling to top seed John McEnroe in the quarterfinals 63 64 64.

Today, Jimmy Arias is the Director Of Tennis at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

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