Okay, it is kind of funny – I forget sometimes that Rog is basically a jock in Swiss clothing. This reported in Eurosport’s wrap-up of today’s Swiss Indoors tourney, where Fed slammed del Potro in straights:
“The closest Federer came to embarrassment was during the on-court interview afterwards, when quizzed about the increasing physical stature of his opponents.
Giving away five centimetres in height to Berrer and ten to Del Potro, Federer was asked if he was starting to feel small when he looked around the locker room.
‘I try not to look too closely,’ the world number one managed to splutter before giggling his way through the rest of the interview.’ “
Also funny, in the other kind of way, is the warning Davydenko received for tanking against Marin Cilic in St. Petersburg today. I am not a huge Kolya fan (is anyone?) but I’m really starting to feel for the guy. After all, he did win the first set 6-1, and the second set was a close 5-7. The crowd got plenty of tennis. I didn’t see the match, but from the descriptions, the final set (Davy lost 1-6), was most likely influenced by a good old-fashioned meltdown on Davy’s part. Not pretty, but I have to believe that if the guy wasn’t under suspicion for match fixing, the ump would have given him the benefit of the doubt.
Here’s Nikolay’s explanation to reporters after the match (no doubt made in clipped, whispery English):
“I double-faulted to lose a game in the third set and he (Belgian umpire Jean-Philippe Dercq) gave me a warning saying I was trying to lose on purpose. . .I was simply shocked to hear him say that. This is just outrageous. How does he know what I was trying to do? I was so upset with the whole thing I started crying.”
I can picture those tears of rage squirting out of Kolya’s beady, gleaming eyes, and it makes me feel sad. Nikolay, the hardest working man in the tennis business, is close to getting blackballed by his sport. Maybe I’m naive, and I certainly don’t know the world of pro tennis intimately, but why would a top 10 player risk humiliation and even legal action to fix matches? He’s making money (1.5 million this year, over 6 million bucks, lifetime), has a pretty and non-bimbo seeming wife, and is a damn good player feared by many in the locker room. Not to get all Agatha Christie on this, but where’s the motive?
If Nikolay’s really guilty, he’s either subject to insatiable, irrational greed (and wouldn’t psychologist-wife, Irina, be able to help him with this?) or, he’s basically indentured to some “businessmen” in Russia for reasons that are really, really bad. The more I try to figure it out, the crazier it seems!