Tennis, the Gentleman’s Sport?

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Photo by: Shanghai Rolex Masters – Mike Frey

One of the earliest memories I have of playing tennis and being involved in the community was when my father sat me down after practice one day and explained to me, “son, Tennis is a gentleman’s sport.” You see, he told me this at that moment because I had just gotten very angry at myself and at him in the match right beforehand and I had not shown my better qualities, let’s just say that. However, his words struck me hard when I first heard them. I remember thinking, if I’m going to continue this sport I have to be the best type of athlete. I had to be on par with Roger Federer (who at the time embodied everything an athlete should be) and show the world that Tennis was a sport above all others.

I bring this memory up because of the recent incident in which Australian player, Nick Kyrgios, seemingly gave up all effort during his match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters against Mischa Zverev, who ended up winning 6-3, 6-1. Kyrgios started lightly tapping it over for serves and leaving to go back to his chair while Zverev was still hitting it. His attitude was appalling and even arguing with a fan which cost him $16,500 in a fine for swearing. What hurt most of all was afterwards in the press conference when Nick explained he “did not owe his fans anything.” Surely, a lot more was expected of Nick, especially just coming off a win at the Rakuten Japan Open where he performed brilliantly. In total, Kyrgios was fined $25,000 and oh, not to mention, banned for 8 tournament weeks.

My Verdict

By in large, I will still argue that Tennis is a gentleman’s sport. My main evidence is shown in the outstanding role models that the top tier athletes are around the world. Whether it be Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Sharapova, Williams, or Kerber, Tennis athletes are still, in my eyes, the most respected and gentleman/lady like in the world. I also just want to comment that the final match in Shanghai, I thought, was spectacular and Bautista Agut truly deserved to be there. He fought incredibly hard throughout and played great against Murray who was just on fire in the end. Congratulations to both of them. In the end, I hope you take something from this post and whether you are out on the court or out in life, remember that you are a member of this gentleman’s sport and you hold yourself to a higher standard.

Let me hear from down below. Do you feel the punishment was at all adequate for Nick’s unsportsmanlike conduct? Do you believe Tennis players owe it to their fans to play well for them? Do you agree or disagree that Tennis is still a gentleman’s sport? Thank you all for the support, talk to you next time!

 

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