Etiquette, Tennis etiquette to be precise, something that the World number 2 Victoria Azarenka does not own , but she is like her boyfriend , Redfoo, publicity seeker, and in her case , 'Drama Queen'. At the Australian open in January the official rules book was thrown out by Tennis Australia as they gave Victoria 'all the time she needed' to get her emotions back on track and face her rather less experienced and younger opponent Sloane Stephens in the Semi finals. This whole situation was one of the greatest 'farces' in modern day Tennis and Tennis Australia should be ashamed of themselves for letting it go to the lengths that they did , the 'twisting of the rules' was to say the least , embarrassing , if it had happened in the Men's event , well......, it wouldn't have happened. Poor Victoria after having it all her own way en route to the final , lead 6-1 and 5-4 , but this lead was not enough as her opponent was starting to find a way back into the match , so she embarked on a rather public 'soul searching' mission, albeit, in the change rooms . She claimed she had trouble breathing , this happens to all players , it's called 'choking' , but she should know how to deal with this problem , how else do you make it to the top of your class it your chosen sport?
Anyhow it's on the net , look it up if you aren't clear on the whole ridiculous situation but next year the Australian Open should come with a 'guarantee' for all players , Men and Women as the precedent has now been set ; 'If things get tight , don't be afraid to resort to the 'tactical' side of things , fake a lung complaint , start breathing with distress , the Officials will give you a free pass and as much time as you need to regroup , after all it's a big business Tennis . If Azarenka had been forfeited she only would've picked up around $600 Grand as a losing Semi Finalist , the winner , a guaranteed 1 Million , win or lose , Victoria obviously had her sights set on the mil.....
Disappointing to say the least by Tennis Australia , it would've sent a clear message to all players if Azarenka had been forfeited as she should have been , after all whether you are feeling good or bad , when you take the court , especially at that level , you are declared 'fit and ready to go'.
So back to the headline , 'Etiquette'; Tennis is a boxing match however far away from your opponent that you are , it's a 'war' , an 'ego battle' and a mind game , if standards are similar then the strongest mind prevails . You see it regularly in junior Tournaments , the kid who is expected to win but gets challenged often resorts to 'gutter tactics' , unprofessional line calling and 'chit chat' , trying to unsettle the 'lesser' credentialed opponent. Bjorn Borg was possibly the greatest mind in the game , he was prepared to stay out there as long as it took , after all what else was there to do , the house cleaning ?? Too many kids want to get ' the job done' as quickly as possible , way too many other things to do in your spare time , they should watch Borg vs Vilas , French Open in the late 70's , these guys weren't in a hurry to go anywhere.
So etiquette stems from who you really are , do you want to go the distance in the game or are you just looking for a 'quick fix' ? Do you appreciate your talent and at the same time appreciate your opponent's ability as he or she is 'responsible' for your next hour or two's entertainment ?
Tennis players generally are well behaved , look at Rafa and Roger , brilliant ambassadors for the sport , when was the last time one of these guys 'disappeared' for 10 or so minutes 'cos he couldn't close out the Championship ??
Azarenka won this year , she lost a lot of respect though , and that's what defines a player...........