Some refer to tennis players as a 'pampered lot', a bunch of prima donnas' who have no real grasp of the real World outside of a tennis court where they earn obscene amounts of money for hitting a ball over the net.
Not sure why, I reckon the public are being a little too harsh on tennis professionals, many of whom ask for a towel after being aced, all part of their silly 'pampered' routine. Sorry there's that word again, pampered.
The flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils filled all the seats apparently at the Hopman Cup in Perth for the first round tie against Great Britain yet he didn't turn up, Kenny De Schepper did instead and lost rather easily to Andy. Disappointing for the crowd who paid to see Gael. By all reports though Gael is fine, alive and well, in fact if you watched him play Fast 4 earlier this week you would have seen not only his brilliant shot making on display but his rather 'honest' post match interview.
By all reports Gael is '100 per cent fit' and ready to play in Melbourne. That's what Gael said. Wonder what happened to him in Perth. Miss the flight Gael ? Interesting.
What happened to Serena ? Now apparently I was a little hard on her according to some after last year's Hopman Cup where by all reports she threw her runners up trophy in the bin. Now I must confirm that this apparent 'fact' did not come from my toy box of fanciful stories but from more than one member of the Hopman Cup team of officialdom. ( I do know a few people in tennis ) So to this year. Farcical.
Serena didn't hit many balls yet did not withdraw from the event totally. She simply stuffed everyone around this year with her on and off court routine yet she is apparently all ok to play in Melbourne. Wonder what was wrong with Serena this year ?
So to Bernie, now this was rather amusing. Same as Nick K. These guys aren't even interested in the warm up tournaments for the Aussie Open yet they entered them. Why ? Contractual agreements ? Fair dinkum weak as piss these two as they openly admitted that they were looking ahead rather than looking for current form or giving the public their money's worth, hence their withdrawals from the Kooyong Classic and the Sydney International. They both seem ok to play in Melbourne however.
What about Maria ? The screamer from Russia didn't play in Brisbane yet no doubt sold a lot of seats on her name alone. Funny, she seems ok to play in Melbourne also.
The Sock, the Jack kind withdrew after a set of the final in New Zealand. Be interesting to see whether or not he plays and just what kind of physical form he is in for the first Grand Slam of the year. Halep also withdrew from Brisbane yet played brilliant tennis in Sydney just missing a place in the final in a three set loss to Kuznetsova. She seems ok now, will probably play Melbourne.
It seems that with all of the above instances there is one thing that taints all of their withdrawals and that is 'legitimacy', Bernie is living proof seen hitting today after his 'illness' the day before. Tennis professionals seem all too hasty to either withdraw beforehand or retire during a match if things aren't going their way, conditions included, just ask Nick. Apparently too hot for Nick at Kooyong and he had bigger fish to fry in no uncertain terms, Nick said so himself.
Finally what about the Tennis Australia 'discretionary wildcard' that did not in fact get awarded to poor young Ben Mitchell who withdrew 'legitimately' from the Wild card play off final against Duckworth due to the birth of his first child ? How's Tennis Australia's form there ? How could you overlook a guy in great form and then force him to play the qualification tournament where he lost second round ?
I believe TA 'owed' Ben a wild card into Melbourne on grounds of compassion if nothing else or was his choice of seeing his child born into the World over a tennis match not on TA's list of 'correct things to do' ?
Fair dinkum disgrace that TA. Ben was deserving of a spot, a hard working tennis player who battles through the Challenger series, he paid his dues. You would hope that Duckworth slings him a few bucks whether he wins against Hewitt or not as after all he got a free ride into the Australian Open draw without hitting a ball in the play off final. Let's hope the Duck has a little more compassion than Tennis Australia.
Love this time of year, full of pampered individuals and less than satisfying 'sick day certificate' excuses laid out for the public to cringe at yet accept as what is the alternative ? Can you ask for your money back ?! Doubt it. About time the pro tennis players of the World stopped their weak as piss antics and either showed up or at least showed some guts and finished a match rather than took the easy way out.
An Australian Open with no Prima Donna type behaviour, love to see that........