John McEnroe Backs Serena in Row with Dominic Thiem

John McEnroe, the ‘self-appointed commissioner of Tennis,’ has come to the defense of Serena Williams over the incident that happened in a post match press conference at the French Open. 

Dominic Thiem, the Austrian world number 4, was booted outside of the press room when Serena Williams walked into the press room for her interview. 

Thiem was extremely furious at being asked to step out of the press room for Serena, and said that the American star had a very bad personality. McEnroe was not happy with this situation and decided to share his thoughts on the matter. 

McEnroe, in a recent interview, has mentioned that he thinks the whole scenario has been blown out of proportion by those in the media. 

It also gives me an opportunity to show how easy it is to engineer fake news and manipulate people’s opinions. Fact: Dominic Thiem was kicked out of the main press room in the middle of his media duties to make way for Serena Williams. Fact: Thiem was less than pleased about it. With these two facts, the social media public court was quick to deliver a verdict: “How can she do that? Does she have no shame? Who does she think she is?” ‘It was not only the usual hateful trolls who voiced their discontent. In fact, the mainstream media started to weigh in on it. See, there is something on the internet and they immediately start to report on it and voice an opinion. Yes, an opinion! Whatever happened to the fundamental rule of journalism? Three independent sources should confirm the fact, and then – only then – can you report on it,” said McEnroe during a recent interview. 

He went on to say, “but here’s the problem: They didn’t have all their facts straight. Little known but true fact: Serena Williams had actually asked for a smaller room so that she could be done with it. But somehow the organizers insisted she hold the press conference in the main room where Thiem was at the time. ‘A smaller room was available because that’s where Thiem ended up. When Serena was made aware that they had to move the Austrian to make room for her she was heard saying: “Whoah, that’s rude!” Yes it was. See this is not a tiny detail. It changes the whole f***ing story. Serena’s not a diva who can’t wait two minutes. She’s the victim of a screw up by the organization, and so is Thiem. ‘I know a lot of journalists who should eat a good slice of humble pie after this one.”

The facts by McEnroe appear dodgy and not in congruence with what was the reality. Williams did not want to be sent into a second conference room, she wanted to be in the area where Dominic Thiem was holding his press conference. She even told a tournament official that ‘woah you’re very rude’ when he asked her to shift rooms. 

The only victim here is Dominic Thiem, and he needs justice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFYkgpC8UCE

Controversial Underarm Serve from Nick Kyrgios Leaves Tennis World in Shock

What a year to be alive as tennis fan. You have stiff competition within some of the best players of the game, and there are new stars coming through. However, the biggest talking point or the biggest controversy from this year has to be the advent of the underarm serve from Australian Nick Kyrgios. 

Kyrgios, who is no stranger to controversy, first produced the underarm serve against Rafael Nadal, on his way to beat the pro in their Mexican Open encounter in February. 

Kyrgios has again produced the underarm serve during his rout of Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the Miami Open. Kyrgios produced the infamous underarm serve twice during the match against Lajovic and went on to win 6-3, 6-1. 

Kyrgios who has been bathing in controversy ever since his professional tennis debut is most famous for the unsavory incident involving Stan Wawrinka in 2015. Kyrgiois is believed to have abused Wawrinka as he made some unsavory remarks against his girlfriend, a fellow tennis professional Donna Vekic. 

However, this underarm serve has to be Kyrgios most telling controversy in terms of impact on the game. He has seemingly defended the tactic after first trying it against Rafa. 

I think it’s a tactic, for sure. Especially with Rafa – I was starting to feel my legs cramp up so I needed a free point at any cost,” said Kyrgios. “He’s standing so far behind the baseline, so I thought the underarm serve might break his rhythm.”

While the attempt against Nadal didn’t pay off, Kyrgios has most probably perfected the serve and executed it to perfection against Lajovic. 

While the underarm serve is perfectly effective and sits well within the legal lines of tennis, there are some questions whether it passes the lines of sportsmanship on the court. 

Judy Murray, who is a tennis coach and mother of British star Andy Murray believes that this shot is extremely clever and should be applauded. 

The whole point of tennis competition is to disrupt your opponents game by applying pressure through changing the speed, spin, direction, depth or height of the ball,” Judy Murray said on Twitter. “And that includes the serve. Kyrgios is a genius. I’m surprised more players don’t do it.”

Not many people understand genius or know what to do with it so they try to get genius to conform to something they do understand. Kyrgios has uncanny instinct and vision. He’s unpredictable and has phenomenal creativity and hand skills. Yes he’s mentally inconsistent but he’s a genius.” 

Roger Federer, who is arguably the greatest male tennis player of all times has also stood in favor of the serve. Federer mentioned, “Yeah, underarm is definitely a tactic, I believe, especially when guys are hugging the fence in the back.”

From that standpoint, you shouldn’t be ashamed if you try it out, you just look silly if you miss it sometimes. Why not try it?”

The problem is like in practice, you never really try it. When you come out in the big stage in front of a full crowd, tricky to pull off.”

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas Places Charges of Preferential Treatment for Roger Federer and Other Senior Players

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the upcoming tennis sensation from Greece has turned quite a few heads by alleging that Chair Umpires have preferential behavior towards senior players such as Roger Federer and the Bryan Brothers. 

Tsitsipas put these charges while playing against the Bryan Brothers in the double final. Umpire Wesley Koolhof was overseeing the match, when Tsitsipas accused him and others of granting special privileges for opponents such as the Bryan brothers and Roger.

He later elaborated on twitter, when followers asked him about his on-court behavior. He used the social media handle to mention that while he admired Federer and other stars like Djokovic and Nadal, he couldn’t help but point out the preferential treatment that they received. 

“I think players that have been doing really well over the years, players that are generally much respected in the tennis world have privileges when it comes to certain rules and umpire decisions,” wrote the world number 10.

I felt this couple of times when playing these guys and I think it’s a bit unfair. Roger Federer is always going to be my favorite player no matter what. I don’t want to drag him into this. It’s not his fault or intention, it’s the umpires that are trying to protect them more than they are supposed to. Nothing more than that.”

Federer strongly disagreed with these charges and mentioned that umpires do interact different with some of the top players, but there is no foul play like preferential treatment involved here. 

It’s a tough one but what I do feel sometimes is that on the outside courts, more than just preferential treatment to the top guys, they are tougher on the rules,” Federer said to AFP.

You do something – bang, warning. It’s like there is no messing about. But with the umpires with the top guys on the main courts, I think the umpires know the top guys, they know their problems, they know how they behave and how they will react, so they know what acting stupid or silly means and what normal is. So because we know each other very well, I think it’s easier for an umpire to handle a top player who they know over an up-and-coming guy like Tsitsipas or a young guy and that sometimes gets lost in translation and maybe bad mistakes can happen. But I don’t see preferential treatment, there shouldn’t be,” Federer said.

Viewers on the internet have reacted strongly to these claims by Tsitsipas and believe that he needs to be more careful with how he speaks about some of the seniors. One of the commenters on YouTube mentioned that Tsitsipas is an exciting young talent, and he should make sure that he respects the pros of the game. The world number 10 has indeed had a good last year, and there are high hopes associated with his meteoric growth in the sport. The future is indeed bright for him. 

Australian Open Coin Toss Boy Has Tennis Stars and Commentators in Stitches with Funny Dance Move

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, is often host to a lot of interesting matches and competitions that set the tone for the rest of the year. Besides this, the Slam Down Under is also famous for things other than the tennis itself. Be it the audience or the ball boys, the Australian Open keeps throwing random bits of viral news at us to get us in tatters. 

This time around the Australian Open was a more solemn affair, with nothing worth mentioning as such. However, the event wasn’t short of laughable bits, with the dance moves of a specific coin toss boy gaining prominence across the internet. 

The Australian Open court was host to a jazzy performance this year around as one coin toss boy had come out in his dancing shoes and couldn’t hold the urge to pull out some of the moves. The coin toss boy pulled out his moves during a match between protégés Kei Nishikori and Kamil Majchrzak. 

As is the case with all tennis matches, the coin toss was to be held before the start of the first round. It was expected to go about as any other coin toss, but the coin toss boy had other plans in mind. The coin toss boy caught literally everyone standing near the centre net off guard through his fancy dance moves. 

While he proceeded to move forward and flip the coin, the boy bust his right leg forward in a fluent movement, and then twirled and cycled around the area with a 360 spin that could put any ballerina to shame. He then finished the turn, with an even fluent movement to do what he was there to do; flip the coin. 

This rather impromptu and shocking jig by the coin toss boy got all those nearby, including the players, referee, and the crowd in stitches. Even the commentator couldn’t hide his excitement, as he showed it through his sudden reaction of amazement. 

The crowd, which had remained largely silent, by the time of the coin toss, roared in approval of the boy’s moves, and gave the kid a huge applause. The video was also tweeted by the Australia Open team, who were as surprised as we were at this sudden move. 

Dogs Picking Tennis Balls and the Match That Lasted a Whole Year

2019 is upon us, and we are raring up to serve you with a spicy dose of viral tennis news and updates with the same fervor as we did last year. Interestingly, this time around we have two interesting updates from the world of tennis. 

To start things of, we will shed some light on the circulating videos of trained dogs picking up balls in a recent tennis tournament. Gone are the days of ball boys/girls, as dogs seem to have replaced them on the tennis court. The canine counterparts are fast, raring to go and excited with the opportunity to pick up as many balls as they possibly can. 

The experiment was tried at the WTHR in London during the opening of the Champions Tennis Tournament. The excited crowd was shocked to see dogs inside the court and couldn’t contain their bewilderment at how the canines scurried across the court to retrieve all the stray balls.

There has been a lot of talk about the use of dogs in the tennis court, and this experiment was first conductedduring the doubles match between Juan Carlos Ferrero, Mansour Bahrami, Mikael Pernfors and Henri Leconte. 

The dogs that participated in the match were specifically trained for the job by Canine Partners. Canine Partners, which is a dog training agency working with dogs to help people with their disabilities.

Ball dogs might just become common in the world of tennis if the trend continues. Let’s just all hope that they don’t start running when the ball is in play. Thatfellas, would be a disaster of sorts. 

In other interesting news from the world of tennis, we got to see a first when a match was playedover two different years. One can recall the match between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner that continued for three consecutive days, but even that famous battle doesn’t top the recent occasion of a match spanning two different years. 

Both Samantha Stosur and Marie Bouzkova made history of sorts, when their tennis match slotted for the 31st December 2018, extended into the year 2019. 

While Bouzkova, the Czech, prevailed in the battle, it was ultimately the fight that Stosur showed which helped stretch the match into 2019. Bouzkova handed her Australian opponent a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 defeat. It was only when the sets got levelthat the crowd reallystarted hoping for a miracle. And, that is exactly what happened.