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Monday, January 26, 2015

Sportsmanship on the Tennis Court

The Australian Open Tennis Championships in Melbourne are in full swing. Rohini Ana has sent in this interesting news report on the second round match between Tim Smyczek of USA and 2009 winner Rafael Nadal of Spain. Although I am an ardent tennis fan myself, I had somehow missed it.

Smyczek's incredible moment of sportsmanship against Nadal

This could quite possibly be the greatest moment of sportsmanship we see all
year. And with so much talk of the death of the gentleman in sport it was refreshing
to witness this beautiful moment on Rod Laver Arena last night.

First, a moment of scene setting.

Unknown American qualifier Tim Smyczek is in the match of his life. He is on
centre court at a major against one of the greatest players the game has
ever seen, Rafael Nadal.

They have been battling for four hours in oppressive heat. Smyczek was long
odds to even get a set off Rafa but they are 6-5 in the fifth, the crowd is
on the edge of their seats. A huge upset is not too far away.

Imagine what is going through Smyczek's head. Playing against one of his
idols, going toe to toe with one of the greats. The pressure is intense.

At 30-0 with Nadal serving to win the match he throws the ball up and an
idiot in the crowd screams out during the ball toss. Rafa faults.

Instead of sniffing an opportunity for a shot at a second serve to get back
into the match Smyczek tells Rafa to replay the point, have his first serve

It was an incredible moment during the most intense game of the American
player's life.

 The crowd responded warmly and he received a standing ovation when he left
the court after finally succumbing to Nadal.

Rafa summed it up best when, in his post match interview, he said,"Firstly I
want to congratulate Tim, he is a real gentleman. What he did in the last
game was not a lot of people would do something like this at 6-5 in the
fifth after four hours."

 This from one of the true gentlemen and champions of the game.


  1. Rohini
    Thank you for the clip. I wish sportsmen and women all round the world take heed. I wish there is a return to true sportsmanship which died many decades ago as big prize money entered the arena. Even cricket, the gentlemans' game, is full of bad language, sledging and betting. Those who administer the sports seem to accept them as part of the game. Umpires and referees turn a blind eye. Perhaps I am an old fogey trying to turn the clock back!!

  2. So heartening to witness these moments which restore your faith in humanity. Skyczek is not a loser in the true sense, he won the hearts of people all over the World. Thanks Rohini for brining this to our notice.

  3. Thank you Rohini, for the news clip. I am a Rafa fan (I believe he is a great role model for young players) and I am glad that there are a few other players in the sport, who play the way the game should be played, without arguing every point. I agree, this was an example of exceptional sportsmanship. The Aussie Open is being eclipsed here in Colombo by all the political news. I think I need to catch some of the action now. And, yes ND, I'm afraid we are all nostalgic old fogeys! Srianee/Bunter