The double standard in tennis & its humourless ATP pr

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by pound cat, May 29, 2004.

  1. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    ATP is run by a bunch of, as the writer very well puts it, "humourless prigs", who also love the women wearing next to nothing, but scream at bare arms on men. And they really hate Safin because he speaks his mind in an articulate way.



    Tennis bares it's lack of humor

    By Karen Crouse, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, May 29, 2004



    PARIS -- Marat Safin was chasing down Felix Mantilla's drop shot at the end of a dramatic, drawn-out rally when he suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

    His shorts slipped off his narrow hips and started inching south.

    Safin managed to get his racket on the ball and put it back on Mantilla's side for an improbable winner.

    The point was the epitome of their second-round match at the French Open. Safin and Mantilla had been on the court for nearly three hours, playing to a virtual draw. The exhausted Russian was so exultant when his shot fell fair and was unreturned, he pushed his shorts down the rest of the way to reveal his tighty-whities.

    So the Roland Garros gathering got a brief look at Safin's briefs. Big deal.

    It wasn't a purposeful, petulant act, like Ilie Nastase's mooning Manhattan at the U.S. Open. It wasn't a peevish, puerile act, like Jeff Tarango's dropping his pants and waddling off the court with his shorts around his ankles after losing a game against Michael Chang in Tokyo.

    "I think he did it (to be) funny, not with a bad intention," Mantilla said. Indeed, in terms of intent, what Safin did was much closer to defensive back Jason Sehorn stepping out of his pants as he sprinted after Detroit receiver Johnnie Morton in a game during the 2000 NFL season.

    Or former Chicago White Sox player Steve Lyons dropping his pants at first base to dust off his skivvies.

    The, ahem, bottom line was Safin didn't reveal any more than Serena Williams in her fuchsia hot pants.

    You would have to be a humorless prig to have been offended by Safin's spontaneous way of putting a pivotal point behind him.

    So it was absolutely no surprise that Safin was promptly assessed a point penalty by the chair umpire, Carlos Bernardes. His ruling was corroborated by the court supervisor, Mike Morissey.

    The players would squeeze in only eight more games Thursday night before their match was suspended by darkness with the score at 7-7 in the deciding fifth set. Safin would come back Friday and on a slow day on the clay courts give tennis some more unwanted exposure.

    Of course he would. The player who can be as volatile as the Detroit Pistons' Rasheed Wallace -- or Italy's Mount Vesuvius -- had had an entire night to smolder.

    He is a cloudburst in perpetual search of a parade and tennis' pompous suits always make an easy target.

    After rebuffing Mantilla 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 11-9, Safin bared all, albeit this time only metaphorically.

    "I don't know why," Safin said when asked why he dropped his shorts. "I just did it. It just happened. I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling down my pants. What's bad about it? It's like the entertaining business. You try to make it fun.

    "You know, I'm working my (butt) off on the court, it was a full crowd, a full stadium. We did a great job, I think. It was great tennis for four hours."

    It was such scintillating tennis, even the grand pooh-bahs of the sport couldn't spoil it. Safin said shame on them for trying. The point penalty "was a terrible thing to do," he said. "They just basically tried to destroy the match... show that they're above the tennis players. All of the people who run the sport, they have no clue. It's really a pity. It's a pity that tennis is going down the drain."

    Safin was just getting going. He is famous for speaking off the cuff but what he said next sounded less like a riff than a rallying cry.

    "They do everything possible to to take away the entertainment," said the eighth-year pro. "You're not allowed to do that. You're not allowed to do this. You're not allowed to do many things. It's just a joke. It's really a joke.

    "Every year it's getting worse, worse and worse. I don't know where we're going to end up like this. It has to be a radical change, and I hope it will be really soon."

    Bless Safin for his outspokenness. Tennis does need an extreme makeover, not among the minions but at the very top. Seriously, how do you warm to a climate where Williams can play in a catsuit but Tommy Haas is hassled for wearing a muscle shirt?

    Where white remains the preferred color, and not just for clothes? Where sex appeal continually is confused with personality?

    Where passion is considered dirtier than Roland Garros' clay?

    "We're slowing moving away from (tennis' conservative roots), but there's still something that's pulling us back," said American Lindsay Davenport. "We get criticized for not showing any personality and then get penalized when we do."

    Davenport, who is as conservative as beige, said, "I watched what Marat did and I didn't think it was worth a point penalty. He did it in great humor. I think that's where the umpire should use maybe better judgment."

    Safin complains because he cares. That's why people should hear him roar.

    "I got everything from the sport, everything I have," the 24-year-old said. "And I give everything that I have."

    Somebody gave Safin a soft lob to put away. He didn't disappoint. Do you think sometimes the officials in tennis are trying to be bigger than the players? he was asked.

    "Yes," Safin said. "Definitely."

    One of those officials naturally took umbrage with Safin's comments. Bill Babcock, the administrator of the Grand Slam committee, said the chair umpire made the correct call in Safin's case. "When it steps past passion, either to obscenity or unsportsmanlike conduct, the rules have to make a stand," he said.

    Funny, isn't it, how tennis wasn't blushing when Anna Kournikova appeared on billboards wearing a bra and a smile. Nobody dared make Williams change out of her hot pants before playing Maria Kirilenko but Martina Navratilova couldn't play her first-round match until she covered up a WTA logo on her baseball cap.

    The double standard: In tennis, it's not just a reference to Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde anymore.

    karen_crouse@pbpost.com
     
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  2. bigserving

    bigserving Semi-Pro

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    I agree with all of what you wrote except, Safin deserved the code.

    You can't have players pulling their pants down on court. If you allow that, where would the line be drawn.

    Safin saying that he gives all on the court. What a joke. He is known as one of the biggest tank artists of all time. A couple of weeks ago in a post match interview, he said that he just did not feel like playing that day.

    An NBA player was fined $10G's for flipping the bird. Safin deserved the code for dropping trou.
     
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  3. Emma Knightley

    Emma Knightley New User

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    can you point me to the website where you found this article?
     
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  4. david aames

    david aames Professional

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    #4
  5. ford oliver

    ford oliver Rookie

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    SAFIN is a Hammerhead

    Guys, the code could be argued either way. It was a terrific point which Safin WON so his emotional outburst was not in anger but spontaneous, perhaps like taking your shirt off after a goal. Then again, the ATP lost a great tournament a few years ago when everybody's favorite psycho Jeff Tarango pulled his pants down in Tokyo and the brass from SEIKO (the sponsors) were NOT amused. Bottom line though is that Safin is a spoiled rockhead who has squandered his enormous talent and disrespected the game, as recently as a few weeks ago in Hamburg when he said he couldn't try very hard in a loss because he had to play at 11 am and didn't like the balls (the ones that had been used the whole claycourt season). After his long layoff last year because of injury where he missed the sport more than the sport missed him, he returned with a new, refreshing attitude...hope you didn't blink 'cause you missed it then...and is now back to his infantile whining ways. Fun to watch though when he feels like playing but how his comments have any credibility is beyond me.
     
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  6. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    I thought the Safin stuff was only a lead into the real double standard in tennis. The women are scantily dressed, and when Haas apeared in a sleeveless T ATP went crazy. Or the Anna in a bra 20 foot ad, as compared to 3 inches of Marats underwear as lowering the "standards of the game". Never mind, keep on talking about Marat's underwear. I forgot it's mostly guys on the board. LOL
     
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  7. Emma Knightley

    Emma Knightley New User

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    #7

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