I have lost all respect for Kiefer *spoilers*

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by Max G., Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Until this post, I've generally thought of you as a "straight shooter." I've thought, "We'd have fun playing with -- or against -- each other." Now ... your post makes me wonder what kind of "good sport" YOU are on the court....

    Curious that you (conveniently?) omitted Golf. I don't *want* to see tennis become like those other sports, thank you.

    What *has* set Golf and Tennis apart from other sports is the expectation of ethical behavior. Golf and Tennis are the only two sports I can think of (right now) where a competitor IS EXPECTED to call fouls on himself. (Remember, we have the Rule Book ... and The Code to help us with the "grey areas".) Kiefer is a cheat.

    Yes. The Umpire made an error. Kiefer cheated. (The fact that you don't see the distinction is ... sad.)

    All true ... and beside the point.

    While I do embrace Tennis' migration away from many of its Country Club roots (No more universal insistence on ALL White clothing / sleeves / collars ... more DC atmosphere and (a little) less "gentility" ... Agassi's neon / Anne White's body suit (Oh yes!!!) / (even) Serena's Cat Suit and boots / etc.) I also covet Tennis' continued hold to ethical expectations.

    [When I coached HS Tennis, my boys *knew* I'd yank them in a heartbeat for churlishness. My boys may not have been the top team in the Conference; but they were gentlemen.]

    - KK
     
  2. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    KK,

    I understand what you're saying. Of course tennis separates itself from the other athletics by keeping its rich traditional history of sportsmanship and ethicality. My goal was to put into perspective, the relative "minor" act put up by Kiefer. Sure, in our game, something like that is just simply unacceptable behaviour and should not be tolerated. I agree with that and would never attempt to behave in such a way on court myself.

    I think it's obvious Kiefer is a fellow countryman of mine and thus I may be a bit partial. I still do not, however, believe he "cheated" in the traditional sense of the word. Sure, we have rules saying we should concede points if we know what the proper call was...but you and I both know this is *not* practiced daily in the ATP (i.e. Federer last night against Kiefer). The fact that Kiefer was not "forced" to concede the point, made what he did unethical and even pathetic, but not cheating. According to your definition of a cheater, if a player lets a bad call stand and does not concede the point even though he knows what truly happened, he has cheated...well...we have many cheaters in the ATP then....

    Ex. of a cheater: Doper

    P.S - Don't worry, man. If we played, I'd be an honorable opponent. I'm not the kind to agree to a bad score in my favor if my opponent forgets the actual point count. I would correct him immediately.
     
  3. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Totally agree. Astounding.
     
  4. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    This is the kind of -if you're not cheating your not trying-, -he got away with it so he wasn't cheating-, -winning is everything- (pick your cliche) attitude that is wrong with current sponsor driven, money drenched professional sports world we now live in.
    I would add to your list Soccer, at least they give a yellow card for diving, and say that it's all the wrong message we should be giving to the youth of the world. And then add another cliche; just because they do it doesn't mean you should too.
    As for Kiefer's respect for his opponents, I watched the last of the 4th and the 5th set. The racquet throwing incident was just the final straw. He spent much of that time arguing (wrongly) call after call. Intimidating linespeople and the Ref, who should have been above that. His actions on the court were disrespectful of Grosjean and previously Chela. His fines show this is normal behaivour for him.
    But this is the state tennis since John McEnroe & Nastase showed us all the way right?
     
  5. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Despite his excellent tennis skills, I know many people who will never forgive McEnroe for his on-court antics and what he did to tennis.

    Unfortunately, part of a long decline in sport and in so many aspects of our society.
     
  6. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I fail to see how "unethical" doesn't equate to "cheating". I cannot differentiate the two.

    No. In an unofficiated match that would be true. In an officiated match the responsibility for calls rests with those officials. But that's for LINE and POINT calls. Tennis players are only the second sportsmen I know of who are expected to call conduct violations on themselves (officiated matches or not).

    Why I hold to the view Kiefer cheated TWICE is my observation of the tape of the point. Kiefer made *two* separate actions: one to hit the ball, another completely separate action to throw his racket across Grosjean's line of vision. That was the first cheat.

    The second cheat was his pretense that he did not intentionally do the above. What compounded the entire event was his pretention and posturing at innocence. Kiefer knew just what he was doing, when he threw his racket to distract Grosjean. Any protest to the contrary is simply a lie, IMO.

    (And to "defend" Kiefer by blaming the non-call of hinderance on the Umpire is a blatant double-standard. It's like saying it's okay to rob a bank so long as you don't get caught. Any honorable tennis player would call that on himself whether or not the official caught it. Kiefer's behavior has made me conclude he is without honor, period.)

    I still choose to believe this, Docalex007. You and I are "okay".

    - KK
     
  7. ambro

    ambro Professional

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    I don't think Kiefer threw his racquet to distract Grosjean. I think he threw it to be humorous as he figured he had lost the point already anyways. When Grosjean missed the volley because of the distraction, he should have given him the point.

    Either way, I don't like Kiefer at all. I didn't before the match either, so this play didn't change much.
     
  8. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Connors, too. ::sigh:: This, unfortunately, is true.

    I can honestly claim I would stop watching Mac's matches when he would go into these extended tirades. I believe he cheapened Tennis with his behavior ... and I get a clear sense that he, to this day, regrets it. Mac has been one of our sport's best ambassadors since he retired from the Pro Tour.

    - KK
     
  9. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    He does regret his behaviour in the past. I've heard himsay he is glad he didn't have children at the time to see that. BUT....
    My understanding is that he is doing some of the same thing on the senior tour. I don't know this, and haven't seen it, but someone on this board said it a few months ago.
    True he has been a good ambassador for tennis, unlike Conners (whatever happened to him?). But I don't always agree with some of his thoughts on rule changes. Why must he push so hard for tiebreakers?
     
  10. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Intellectually I can consider this. But I'm blocked by my judging of Kieffer to be without a social sense of humor.

    Yup.

    - KK
     
  11. D-man

    D-man Banned

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    kiefer 's just, well , a little mentally unstable, and i cut him a little more slack than the average atp player, but he certainly should have conceded the point.
     
  12. D-man

    D-man Banned

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    double double
     
  13. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    You can't? Well, no need in discussing any further if the distinction cannot be made. The two seem to blend when looking from a religous/spiritual perspective, but not from an intellectual one.

    What is unethical to someone may or may not be unethical to someone else. This is comparable to one's values and what they find to be of high importance in life. I'm not going to give a broad lesson on ethicality and morality since I'm sure you know what these things mean. Just remember, to play with honor might be ethical to some...but not everyone has to play with honor.

    To differentiate the two concepts of ethicality and cheating, imagine if Kiefer, during the match, screams loudly after every Grosjean error. Is this an ethical way of playing tennis? No. Would I call him "cheating" for this? No. This concept should make some sense to you.

    According to your views, gamesmanship is cheating right? It is unethical, right? I can't in no way see it as being ethical.

    What do I think cheating is?

    Cheating is the breaking of a fundamental set of rule(s) that have been created by some institution. And yes, those are my own words...not from a dictionary. But that's what the word means to me. How can you for sure say Kiefer intentionally wanted to distract Grosjean?! Like others have said, why couldn't it have been a simple desperate attempt at getting the ball back as the point had been lost by him anyway?

    Cheating on your wife is of course unethical AND cheating at the same time, so maybe that is why you think they are the same. But a closer look will reveal that it is indeed illegal to cheat on your wife and THAT is why you have cheated. We casually use the word "cheated" in many situations where it probably is not proper.

    Without honor perhaps; a cheat? To you they are the same? :confused:

    Glad to hear it, Karl - as it would be a shame to know one could lose a friend over a difference in opinion (which sadly happens all of the time doesn't it?).

    P.S: I love how someone brought up John Mcenroe as he provides a good example of some behaviour I am talking about. Must be a double standard with him since he was actually a champion and Kiefer is not.
     
  14. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    Double Double
     
  15. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I should have been more precise. I cannot differentiate the two on the tennis court.

    I believe "tennis ethics" are universal. Everyone *knows* them ... some just choose to pretend they don't matter.

    Interesting proposition. Since I'm on record for calling Hewitt a bush-league bum for his "C'mon!" after an opponent's error, you've given me something to think about.

    But, "No" I would not call it "unethical". Just cheap, low-class and bush-league.

    No.

    No!

    In Winning Ugly Gilbert recounts one particularly nasty experience with Mac. (Mac completely "iced" Gilbert by purposely going into a tirade which lasted at least ten minutes ... then Mac had the audacity to demand the Umpire keep Gilbert in line during one of Gilbert's later disagreements over a call.) Gilbert called that "gamesmanship" on Mac's part. I really think it was beyond gamesmanship. (But the rules were different then. It may not have been expressly a violation -- because nobody ever expected such behavior.) I believe some of our current Warning / Point / Game / etc. penalties are a direct result of ... Mac.

    That's a pretty good definition. And by that definition, Kiefer cheated.

    I don't care about "intent". I care about the result. Grosjean was hindered. Kiefer's thrown racket was the distraction. Kiefer cheated ... because hindering your opponent is against the rules. (Even if it was a comical "Oh, I give up. I'm tossing my racket at the ball because it's the only chance I'd have at getting this next ball" the result was a hinderance. The rule was broken.)

    "Almost". But cheating is a symptom -- there could be others -- of a tennis player who is without honor; not necessarily an "equivalent".

    Unfortunately, yes. I keep wondering how much better Tennis would be today if Mac had been kept in better control....

    I was such a jerk back in the '70s, I made Mac seem angelic. My parents, tournament directors, my Coaches and my teammates ... nobody held me to any kind of "standard of behavior." (I truly wish they had.) ... So, when I became an Instructor -- and later a Coach -- I insisted on good sportsmanship. My students and my HS Boys would be *nothing* if not ladies and gentlemen on the court. (It's probably my way of trying to make up for how much I embarassed everyone as a teen.)

    Kiefer lacks honor. Kiefer cheated. Kiefer is unethical ... as a tennis player.

    - KK
     
  16. Klippy

    Klippy Semi-Pro

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    gvf wo3jhtrapert
     
  17. Klippy

    Klippy Semi-Pro

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    Oops sorry about that. I fell asleep on the keyboard. hehe
     
  18. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Marat Safin interview:

    A great actor Oleg Tabakov once told me – ‘I have been teaching for 30 years and I always recommend to my students to watch tennis because you understand a lot about yourself.’ Can you relate to that?

    Of course. In football for example, which is a team sport, one can hide himself, but on court a person is fully exposable. You can right away say if he is courageous, scared, strong, cheeky, soft, or emotional. Or even a ‘thief’ - on court of course. I just need one look at a person on court and I can tell you what he is like. Tennis is a personality questionnaire.

    Who’s a ‘thief’?

    Someone who always argues with an umpire, always trying to prove to the umpire that the ball was good when it was out and the opposite.

    When Kiefer played Igor Andreev in the Kremlin Cup final, that’s exactly the way the German was reacting.

    Yeah, that is a vivid example. Obviously, in everyday life he is a normal guy but on court some secret features of a character start appearing. You can’t hide anything there.
     
  19. Magyd

    Magyd Guest

    And how does Kiefer feel now that it's behind him ?

    Most of us would say "pretty stupid", but not Kiefer. Let's play the devil's advocate now.

    I'm Nicolas Kiefer. Loved tennis ever since I was a kid, even won some important junior events. Then I turn 19, 20, 21, and I realise that I'm not a very talented player, that I can't compete with the game's best. I, however, am a tough competitor and I hate losing, so I do everything I can to win, even when it's not too clean. At least I don't take drugs or anything.

    I question every call, get on every player and every umpire's nerves the second I step on the court. The crowds hate me too, but I pretend I don't care about it, and then I can blame my defeats on just about anything and it makes sense to me. Sometimes it's enough to distract my opponent. If it's not I can always throw my racket at him, in which case I'll only lose one point, unless I don't get caught.

    We can't all be Agassis and Federers...
     
  20. Yours!05

    Yours!05 Professional

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    Interesting assessment.
     

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