ATP Tennis 360

October 20, 2009 9:08 PM

Something is rotten in Denmark

Once upon a time, tennis was a sport for gentlemen. Then John McEnroe, Jeff Tarango arrived and a certain level of bad behaviour started to diffuse and be tolerated. Now that more and more people tend to associate "personality", "character" with sudden eruption of fury, the mood of Ilja Bozoljac or the Austrian Daniel Koellerer, whose motto is "If you respect your opponent, you have already lost", are becoming common.

And proliferate where the luxury and artificiosity of top-class events leave his place to the not-glamorous tournaments belonging to the second or third tier circuit, like Challengers or Futures. The last episode is only another confirmation of this stigmatizable evolution. If we should give a title to this story, the only suitable would be: "Something is rotten in Denmark".

We are in Kolding, for the final of the local Challenger event. Ivan Dodig, n.195 in the world ranking, 24-years-old from Bosnia, is facing the British n.2, no more that Alex Bogdanovic, ranked just ten places above his opponent. Dodig was already lucky to escape a disqualification in the first round match: not yet satisfied to have staged a replica of the wordly famous monologue by Serena Williams during the Us Open semifinal, Dodig tried to do better and reserved the same "attentions" to one of Hamlet's compatriots on the stands. The supervisor "forgave" him, and Dodig, as every big actor does, preserved the greatest performance for the principal occasion.

Dodig won the first set in the final, while the second has to be decided in a tiebreaker. At 6-6, on Bogdanovic's serve, a first ball is seemingly out but the lineswoman doesn't call and the chair umpire confirmed: 7-6 Bogdanovic who, predictably, clinched the set at the very next point.

The furious Dodig shouted for a toilet break and, heading towards the locker room, bawled out against the lineswoman with clearly readable, but not referrable, words. The news arrived to the chair umpire who informed the supervisor. Clearly Dodig was disqualified and, to complete his performance, coming back to the court he threw the trophy reserved to the losing finalist against a wall and completely destroyed it.

In the end, he lost not only the match, great part of his reputation, but also the 75 points he would have gained as the tournament finalist.

This is his version, from his official website.

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