In recent weeks, due to some unsportsmanlike behaviors of tennis players on the pitch, the debate on the conduct that athletes should follow during matches has rekindled. Specifically, the reactions shown during some important tournaments by Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Jenson Brooksby have sparked public opinion.
The German completely lost control in Acapulco and repeatedly hit the chair judge Alessandro Germani with his racket. Kyrgios and Brooksby, on the other hand, risked hitting two ball boys with the racket in Indian Wells and Miami respectively.
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, who spoke to Sky Sport, spoke precisely of this delicate topic: "There are different philosophies of thought. Some think that this is also a form of entertainment. People also looked at John McEnroe or Marat Safin because they expected their reaction.
The other philosophy of thought considers tennis players as an example to follow; people therefore think that they must follow perfect behavior."
Gaudenzi: "I'm not afraid of a tennis without the Big 3"
He then added: "I, if truth be told, am in the middle.
There are two types of utterances. One happens against oneself, and may be acceptable. However, when you risk hurting a spectator, a line judge or a ball boy, it is not an acceptable situation. We must be an example. When anger is against yourself, it's a different story.
It's not easy. The other important thing we are working on is having a single code of conduct between ATP, WTA and ITF. Fragmentation creates confusion." Finally, Gaudenzi focused on the future of tennis after the era marked by the exploits of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal: "The strength of the product is linked to the mental and tactical aspects of tennis; due to the uncertain duration of the matches.
The beauty of the event and the personalities of the players certainly help. I am not afraid of the generational change. Obviously, we owe a lot to Roger, Novak and Rafa for what they have done over the past twenty years. But I'm sure other characters will be born that will entertain the public.
We were also afraid after Borg-McEnroe or Sampras-Agassi. Then look who has arrived. We don't know what the future holds. The weakness could be related to governance or media management. There is no body that controls the product completely."