Tennis is a great sport, no argument – let’s just move on. Tennis spectators, however, aren’t really much to write home about. They just don’t get involved enough. It’s not entirely their fault (hmm) though, with those umpires telling them to “shush up” all the time, and players not really getting into things by hitting balls at hecklers or taking a running fly-kick across the barrier at their opposition’s mother/father. What I’m saying is, tennis doesn’t really give itself the opportunity to be dangerous very often, so thank God for the Australian Open 2009, a tournament that’s starting to turn… it… up….
Don’t ask me what “Serbia”or “Croatia” are, but Australian Open officials know, and they’ve figured out that if you pit one of each in a sporting contesting against the other, it makes violence happen. Last Wednesday, “tensions boiled over ”between spectators of the match between Croatian Marin Cilic and Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, which Cilic won in four sets. Police escorted at least five fans from the Melbourne Park precinct after narrowly averting an all-out brawl. As usual, the police totally killed the party, but punches were later thrown in a scuffle near a packed bar. Both groups, wearing national colours, then continued to march around Melbourne Park in large packs. Good times.
Undeterred by the police interruption of what officials called “a good laugh”, they got hold of another Serbian player and matched him up with a Bosnian, just to see if a repeat performance was on the cards. Guess what…
It’s not exactly football hooliganism, but for a sport that literally tells you off for talking during play, these guys are doing pretty damn well. Sure, it’s not pretty, but it’s nice to see some passion for a change. And good to see so many television cameras there to capture the events as they unfolded – it’s almost as if they knew something was brewing, as though someone had an inkling that perhaps there could be a situation, a very unfortunate and not-planned-in-any-way-at-all-how-could-we-anyway-even-if-we-wanted-to type of situation.
On an even lighter note, check out this amusing clip of Safin hitting a crisp backhand return straight into the net umpire (not the Australian Open, but in Perth, which is Australia, so let’s call it the Australian Open for the sake of simplicity):[youtube:http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=RiOsvbQDVUc%5D
This all bodes pretty well for the rest of the tournament. It brings an element of politics and risk in to fill the void left by the departure of all the hot female players. They never make it too far through the tournament – let’s be honest – and all we usually have to look forward to is a final between Mauresmo and Serena Williams. Not a particularly feminine event. War, on the other hand – that’s sexy.