We thought the tennis season post-U.S. Open was tough enough, but things are getting downright despicable. The ATP and the ITF seem intent on driving players into retirement now, based on trumped up allegations that make little to no sense.
Davydenko was chastised again for lack of effort today in his 6-2 6-2 loss to Baghdatis at Bercy. Chair ump Cedric Mourier apparently started coaching Davy on his service motion! This is now officially a fiasco – I just hope Davydenko takes some time off and has some therapy sessions with Irina to help him get over this serious mental yip. Sure, maybe he is guilty of match-fixing and tanking and whatever else, but to publically humiliate a top player, on the court, is dead wrong. The fans shouldn’t have to witness this stuff.
Even worse is the unbelievably sad retirement of Martina Hingis. An ITF drug test from Wimbledon showed her testing positive for COCAINE! (She then volunteered to take a hair test, which came out negative, but to no avail.) Rather than spend years appealing the ITF test, she’s decided to bow out of the game. Everyone should read her statement in its entirety, but here’s the most heartbreaking part:
“My attorney and others have also pointed out to me that a case like this one can sometimes take years to resolve, especially if both sides repeatedly appeal the case and take it to the next level. And this is the reason for my announcement. I have no desire to spend the next several years of my life reduced to fighting against the doping officials. I am frustrated and angry.
I believe that I am absolutely, one hundred percent innocent. The fact is that it is more and more difficult for me, physically, to keep playing at the top of the game? And frankly, accusations such as these don’t exactly provide me with motivation to even make another attempt to do so. I attempted a comeback after a three-year break and succeeded in winning three tournaments, bringing my ranking to 6 in the world. But in the meantime, I’m now 27 years old, and realistically too old to play top class tennis.”
Martina H. is a great champion, she’s also a wonderful ambassador for the game and her comeback is one of the most heart-warming stories on the WTA tour. Does anyone really doubt her innocence – let alone dispute the fact that cocaine is hardly a tennis performance enhancing drug? For her to leave the game under a cloud like this is sickening – another blow to us tennis fans.
Can we just cancel the rest of the season and start all over next year? At this point, even the Aussie seems to be coming up too soon.