Ahhh the humble double fault. It is probably the most frustrating and annoying point in a tennis match but when you are watching a tennis match, or for that matter even playing a match, do you feel the urge to...
Ahhh the humble double fault. It is probably the most frustrating and annoying point in a tennis match but when you are watching a tennis match, or for that matter even playing a match, do you feel the urge to applaud a double fault? If you can applaud an ace then why not a double fault? Applauding double faults could put a bit of extra spice into a match. But “they” say it is just not tennis etiquette to do something like that, to cheer someone’s mistakes. That being said, don’t you applaud when after a rally a point ends when one player makes a mistake? Well? C’mon be honest.  What about that urge to clap when the player you are not supporting makes the mistake, you want to put your hands together and you do. So then why not when it’s a double fault? Let’s say it is match point. The tension is at fever pitch. The server is at match point down; the first serve is a fault and then bang the second serve is into the bottom of the net or long or wide. Game, set, match. Jeu, set, match. It’s over and the crowd applauds. Why is that any different?  In recent years one of the most famous matches in which that occurred was at the 2009 Australian Open when Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco played one of the most glorious matches you could hope to see.  It was the fifth set, Nadal leading 5-4, Verdasco was serving and it was match point and “ouch” out of nowhere Verdasco put in a double fault. It was all over. It was heart-breaking but the applause was still there. Yeah, sure it was for the brilliant match but then it was also for the double fault on match point.  In New York no one cares. “Hey buddy you don’t like it then don’t play”, would be the response with a bit more colourful language. In London it would probably be something like “oh gosh how very unfortunate”. In Paris maybe “ohh la la, sacre bleu”.  The double fault is part and parcel of the game so shouldn’t it be treated like any other point that is played? However the so-called genteel sport of tennis suggests you shouldn’t rub salt into someone’s wounds. I think that theory went out the window decades ago. This is no longer a genteel sport. As I said at the start if you can applaud an ace then you should be able to applaud a double fault. You must be able to take the good with the bad. End of story. Game, set  match! What do you think?