Do you think it is time tennis players started to change up some of their on-court routines or are you happy seeing them do the same old things on a tennis court? Remember when you were a child (some of us...
Do you think it is time tennis players started to change up some of their on-court routines or are you happy seeing them do the same old things on a tennis court? Remember when you were a child (some of us probably still haven’t grown up) you wanted to hear the same stories over and over again, have the same songs played or watch the same scenes in a movie? It was sort of a comfort thing, just like food that can be morish and you want to eat it till you are stuffed. How good is a creamy mash potato? Anyway, I digress but it’s sort of the thing I am getting at. There are so many players who do the same things on a court after a match is over because they are satisfied with the routine. I just want to shout out to them: “Change it up dudes. Use your imagination. Try something else when you win a match.” My first example is Rafael Nadal. Every time he wins a title what does he do? How could you forget? It’s the same thing and that is to take a bite out of the trophy. Yuk! Amigo you don’t know whose hands have been on that piece of silverware or crystal. Rafa has a great smile and it looks like he has a good set of teeth but heck, if by accident he is nudged biting a trophy he could very well end up in the dentist’s chair for emergency work. What would you suggest Rafa do as a change up to his regular routine of biting a trophy? By the way did you know that he is the only man in the Open-era to have won two different titles seven or more times – Monte Carlo and Barcelona and now he has a chance of adding a seventh French Open to the tally. How good is he (well, on clay other than blue clay anyway)! So suggestions... What about just kissing the trophy? Bit bland! How about winking at it or filling it up with a drink and sculling it? How about holding it high above his head and doing a couple of 360 degree turns? How about this … you know how he does that zigzag run to the back of the court when he is about to start the warm-up for a match, why not do that to end things as well and do it holding the trophy? How funny would it be to see that happen at Wimbledon? Then there is Maria Sharapova who does a twirl at the end of a match, she has her arm stretched high and blows kisses to the crowd. The Williams sisters started that and now a few players have picked up on it, Caroline Wozniacki is another (she’s been quite lately). If Maria wants to add an element of ballet, why not do a ballet bow, curtsey, whatever it’s called? Let’s change things up. Maybe with her racquet she points to the sides of the court in a “thank you” gesture or throws her racquet high into the air. There was an amusing Tweet from the Argentine player Juan Ignacio Chela (@JuanIChela) commenting on some women players’ ritual at the end of a match: “Wave like you are Miss. Universe even though you are in Court 27.” You know what I want to see a player do and it has not happened for such a long, long time? I want to see a player jump the net at the end of a big match or final. How cool would that be? They probably think they might trip but I would hope they are athletic enough for that not to happen. Even if it does they would be even bigger stars on “You Tube” and the Tweets would be huge and Facebook would be discussing it. The last of the three examples I put forward for a change of routine is Jo Wilfried Tsonga. My colleague Eli Weinstein, who does the French blog here on We Are Tennis, had a bit of a dig at Jo because of the “thumb dance” he does at the end of every match. You know the one, there is the overbite on his mouth, he has his arms up like a prize fighter with his thumbs sticking out and then jumps about the court. Eli I’m with you, JWT you need a new choreographer. That routine needs to change and certainly skip doing it after beating John Lesser-Known. Why not do a simple wave and blow kisses to the fans. They will love something like that. Okay now I have given you guys the head start. Can you come up with suggestions of players who need to change their post-match routines and what should they do that is new? Oh and while I’m on it, players, STOP SLAPPING HANDS after every point in a doubles match. NOW!