tennis racquet smashing

Racquet Smashing: Why Tennis Players Do Such Craziness

Big ego. A fit of rage. Public display of violence.

These are just some of the phrases to characterise racquet smashing in tennis.

No one is indispensable when it comes such display of aggressiveness. Even the most polite tennis players ~ looking at you, Roger Federer ~ had their fair share of racquet smashing moments.

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Alexander Zverev’s racquet smashing during an Australian Open match

What is it about racquet smashing that makes it so controversial?

Racquet smashing is as controversial as it appears because of bad behaviour modelling. Kids are watching the match, and they have this natural tendency to emulate how their idols behave.

Tracy Austin, a former US Open champion, said that the practice is destructive. It does not help anyone.

Not to mention, a racquet is expensive—almost a luxury to the fans. Seeing tennis players ruin the racquet like it was not instrumental to their success is next to absurd. 

Why do tennis players smash their racquets in the first?

Tennis players smash, spike, bounce, and harm their racquets in any way they can to release emotions such as anger and frustration. When emotions take over, no player can avoid doing it.

Ex-player Ernests Gulbis said that he is against racquet smashing personally since a player can always fix the problems on the court in a different manner. However, admittedly, it helps in making feel better afterwards.

Naomi Osaka also mentioned that releasing the anger is easier than keeping it inside throughout the match.

Regarded as reverse psychology, it is also a strategy to make the opponent think that you are upset with the game.

Novak Djokovic echoes the same sentiment. A well-timed racquet smash can change the direction of any match. He sees it as a way to free himself from the pressure.

Djokovic pounded racquet during a French Open game. While it was something that he wasn’t proud of doing, it happens.

What happens if you smash a racquet?

A physical form of ranting, smashing a racquet has its costly consequences, including resulting in hefty fines or losing a point. 

The latter was demonstrated in Serena Williams versus Osaka in the US Open where Williams lost a point since an earlier warning was already issued.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) issues a US$200 fine for smashing the racquet during the qualifying rounds. This can escalate to US$500 for the main rounds. It can go as high as US$5,500, which happened to Daniel Medvedev when he attacked the grass-court with his racquet.

Which tennis players have smashed their racquet?

Roger Federer, John McEnroe, and Nick Kyrgios are just three of the tennis players who have smashed their racquet several times on the court.

In 2009, Federer smashed his racquet again after about eight years. The crowd booed him and punished for a code violation. Indeed, he was once regarded as a bad boy on the court.

McEnroe, on the other hand, is a name synonymous to the biggest ego in tennis and, thereby, racquet smashing. Due to several moments so intense, people would label a dummy spit as “throwing a McEnroe.” However, McEnroe is a different case because he was usually much better after an incident.

And Kyrgios is definitely following his footsteps with his unique albeit violent on-court antics. He shattered his racquet once and handed it to a young fan as a keepsake.

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A form of emotional release or disruptive behaviour? What’s your take on tennis players smashing their racquets? Let us hear from you!

tennis hall of famer 2020 ivanisevic martinez

Ivanisevic, Martinez Elected to the International Tennis HOF

Being inducted in the Hall of Fame is the highest honour for any tennis player in the world. It sums up the achievements of the player throughout his or her playing career.

Also, it recognizes the player’s transformative contributions to the sport of tennis. 

As of 2019, there are 257 Hall of Fame inductees from 26 countries. The Hall of Famers include John McEnroe, Kim Clijsters, Christ Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, and Martina Hingis.

Tennis Hall of Fame announced on January 28 that Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martinez are elected to the Class 2020 on July 18 at Newport, Rhode Island.

International Tennis Hall of Fame, Stan Smith, states, “Between their accomplishments on the court and the way they’ve represented themselves, their countries, and our sport, they are undoubtedly among the best of the best in tennis and are most deserving of tennis’ ultimate honour.”

2020 Hall of Fame inductee Goran Ivanisevic

A former world No. 2, Ivanisevic is the first Croatian to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. 

Ivanisevic is famous for his powerful and accurate left serves and volleys. Turned pro in 1988, he was an aggressive player who intimidates opponents through his forceful volleys.

His most iconic play happened when he played in Wimbledon as a wild card in 2001. Ivanisevic was No. 125 then but went on to defeat three other players who occupied the No. 1 ranking once in their career.

He proceeded to win the finals match against Patrick Rafter. 

Ivanisevic was a part of the Hopman Cup and Davis Cup-winning teams of 1996 and 2005, respectively. He retired in 2004.

He began coaching in 2013 with Marin Čilić. He is currently a part of Novak Djokovic’s coaching team.

Ivanisevic in stats

  • Won 22 ATP singles titles and 599 on-tour matches
  • Has nine doubles titles 
  • 2x Olympic medalist (singles bronze and doubles bronze, 1992)
  • Has six coachee singles

2020 Hall of Fame inductee Conchita Martinez

Martinez was ranked No. 2 in 1995. She also reached No. 7 in doubles rankings. She also turned pro in 1988.

Martinez is a right-handed baseliner. She is capable of changing spin, pace, rhythm, angle, depth, and height to destruct her rivals. 

She is known to reject the traditional handshake after each match.

Her Wimbledon singles win in 1994 is considered a classic. Martinez defeated Martina Navratilova, a nine-time champion then. 

She played in the Australian and French Opens singles finals match in 1998 and 2000, respective.

She was also a part of the Spanish team who won a total of Fed Cup titles throughout the 1990s. 

She retired in 2006.

Martinez currently coaches Garbiñe Muguruza, who is also former No. 1.

Martinez in stats

  • Won 33 singles WTA and three ITF titles 
  • Has 13 doubles titles 
  • Won four consecutive Internazionali BNL d’Italia titles (1993 to 1996)
  • 3x Olympic medalist (doubles silver (1992), doubles bronze (1996), and doubles silver (2004)

These are just two names, though. The full list of the Class 2020 inductees will be announced during the Australian Open Finals.

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Who do you think should be included in 2020 Tennis Hall of Fame inductees?

tennis player diet roger federer pasta banana

Tennis Player Diet: What the Superstars Eat

Have you wondered what the tennis players eat?

They need to maintain their physical and mental health. And the stamina, agility, and drive they demonstrate on the court must be fueled by decidedly specific (or special) diet.

One that allows the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams to play at their peak levels throughout the year.

What are Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic’s diet?

Pasta is regarded as the best dish for any player—it’s a staple in their diet. Of course, how it is prepared differs.

Simona Halep, for instance, wants her pasta without any sauce. She just put olive oil and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese on occasions.

Stan Wawrinka loves his pasta with shrimp.

Federer’s diet: Pasta, chocolate, and cheese

Federer is a self-confessed pizza lover. But he munches on pasta before heading to a match. Pasta has been his go-to food before training or playing.

Federer believes that eating pasta is integral to his performance in court. He eats a plate of pasta with light sauce two hours before playing. He’s been doing this for 20 years.

Chocolate remains to be his favourite snacks, however. He eats chocolate-flavoured energy bars during a match, in addition to bananas.

At home, he’ll have waffles and fresh juice for breakfast before drinking his coffee.

Oddly enough, he follows through with a vinegar shot.

For dinner, he likes to eat spicy food. That could be Indian, Japanese or Italian food.

At times, he would have fonduta, a Swiss fondue made from milk, cheese, butter, and egg yolk. Federer also prefers food with raclette or heated cheese scraped onto his plate of pasta.

Nadal’s diet: Seafood, olive, and pasta

Nadal prefers seafood, especially fish and shrimp. His favourite is shrimp dumplings. He also loves olive and can eat it every day.

Nadal also eats pasta with shrimp and mushrooms.

He does not eat much before a match because it affects his play. But while playing, Nadal would eat bananas and quench his thirst with isotonic energy drinks.

True to his Spanish roots, he loves paella on his downtime. He also munches on cakes and chocolates in limited quantity.

Djokovic’s diet: Vegan pasta and fresh and dried fruits and vegetables

Djoko is well-known for his vegan, gluten-free diet. It’s not because of preference but due to gluten allergy.

He starts the day with a sweet, hearty breakfast composed of oat-based cereal mix with fruits and honey. Djokovic tries to incorporate glucose, fructose, and natural sweeteners from the fruits he eats.

If not fruits, he would combine green, leafy and fresh vegetables with his breakfast.

His lunch is a power bowl muesli (rolled oats) with dried cranberries, seeds (pumpkin or sunflower), sliced almonds, and golden raisins. He eats this with berries or sliced bananas or apples and almond milk.

Before a match, he would eat pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, asparagus, garlic cloves and olive oil. Djokovic uses vegan cheese to top his pasta.

After a game, he eats a protein-rich meal. He prefers fish like seabass with mango and papaya salsa. Meat, fish, and eggs are his only protein sources, though.

His favourite snack has got to be blueberry almond butter smoothies.

With all that, in the tennis world, it’s not just about the proper diet, but also the players’ food routine.

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What do you think of these tennis players’ diet—too rigid or just right? Let me know what you think.