Pre and Post-match Handshakes. A Courtesy that Matters?

Tennis - Recent events like that of Eugenie Bouchard´s snub to Alexandra Dulgheru and Lukas Rosol´s refusal to Guillermo Garcia Lopez´s second thoughts have brought attention to gestures of courtesy in tennisdom

by Sharada Iyer
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Pre and Post-match Handshakes. A Courtesy that Matters?

It is common courtesy – and one that’s expected – for players to shake hands after the completion of their match. In events like the Davis and Fed Cups, the courtesy extends to even before the matches as well.

However, these two separate incidences – that of Eugenie Bouchard and Alexandra Dulgheru at the Fed Cup and Guillermo Garcia Lopez and Lukas Rosol at Bucharest – in as many weeks have provided a lot to discuss and debate on the subject.

Majority of tennis followers perceived Bouchard’s handshake rebuff as being contrary to the spirit of the game and responded accordingly. But to the player herself, there was nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about regarding her gesture.

Moreover, considering that there was similar incident involving her and the Slovakian player Kristina Kucova during a Fed Cup tie last year, it shouldn’t have been surprising at all to see the world no. 7 act – or react – in such a manner.

Comparing the Canadian’s example to the Spaniard’s gesture against the Czech in their final on Sunday brings out a different connotation to the expected behaviour, and the lack thereof. Unlike Garcia Lopez, who chose not to extend his hand for the customary gesture firstly, before re-thinking it only to be brushed aside by his opponent, Bouchard was transparent in her competitive disinterest.

Garcia Lopez’s and Rosol’s conduct talks about pettiness more than a want of sportsmanship. And pettiness doesn’t have a place in any sport, let alone tennis.

Eugenie Bouchard Alexandra Dulgheru Lukas Rosol
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