One of the things I find entertaining about Tennis is the historically icey relationship between the player and umpire; when the put downs and the accusatory insults meet the ‘talk to the hand’ nonchalance of the person in charge. I watched Rusedski launch his tirade of expletives at the umpire on live television coverage of this years Wimbledon Tournament as snickers could be heard from the commentary team. Someone in the crowd had apparently called a shot Roddick had played ‘out!’ when it was most certainly on the line (chalk flew up!). When play stopped, everyone assumed that a ‘let’ would be called and the point would have to be played again. When it wasn’t and the umpire gave the point to Roddick, Rusedski proceeded to lose the plot completely and as a result, lost the game.
While Rusedski will never be a Wimbledon winner if he can’t control his anger in order to raise his game, at least he shows human characteristics during high-tension televised sport. While those sportspeople who play with absolute efficiency and calmness are the ones who tend to win (with the exception of McEnroe), they aren’t half boring to watch. Rusedski has been criticised and heavily fined for his outburst, but at least he has added a bit of spark to this years tournament.