Jaume Munar rips tennis' 'exaggeratedly traditional' principles, calls for changes

Munar thinks it is time for tennis to become more 'open-minded.'

by Dzevad Mesic
Jaume Munar rips tennis' 'exaggeratedly traditional' principles, calls for changes
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Jaume Munar is urging the tennis authorities to "take steps forward" and get away from their "exaggeratedly traditional" rules and principles as the Spanish tennis player believes that stuff like breaking rackets and confrontantions between players that don't cross the line can only make the game more entertaining. 

While tennis has made notable changes in recent years, one thing has remained prohibited and that's breaking rackets - or as called in tennis "racket abuse." For breaking a racket on the court, a player will be hit with a code violation and can also receive a fine after the match, depending on the severity of his action. 

Many times after a match, a player defend itself by saying that breaking a racket was something that just happened in a moment of frustration. Also since many have claimed over the years that breaking a racket is a great way to get out the frustration, some have been debating on whether or not breaking a racket should really be considered something negative and something that can get a player fined. 

"I think that between a lack of respect and breaking a racket for me there are many steps in between, and nowadays both are penalized the same, with a warning," Munar told CLAY.

"Breaking a racket on a material level, well, no, no. It doesn’t look very good either. At a marketing level, at a sporting level, it’s a reality, yes. Why if I break a racket in a training session, nothing happens? And maybe someone filmed it and a lot of people end up watching it on social networks. But if I do it on a center court I get a fine, I get sanctioned, they even take away a point. If coaching was allowed, I think a broken racket without consequences should be free of penalty."

Jaume Munar
Jaume Munar © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Munar: Tennis is exaggeratedly traditional

Just this season, there have been numerous cases of a player getting into a heated discussion with a chair umpire. Also, there have been verbal confrontations between players and heated moments. In general, this stuff has always been present but has never been accepted in tennis. 

When it comes to colorful language, that it also something that easily lands a player a violation on the court and later a fine in some cases. In this case, some have also argued that penalizing and fining a player for cursing in a moment of frustration may be too much since players from other sports also do it and it is not viewed as something extremely negative. 

Addressing this, Munar says it shouldn't be that big of a deal unless someone crosses the line and starts insulting on a personal level. 

"Conflicts between players? As long as it doesn’t pass a barrier of insults or attacks, for me there is no problem with it. We lose focus when there are bad words, in some discussions with the referee, for me that should be penalized, because I do not think we should have a policy of anything goes. 

"I do think that the limits have been left far behind, in very classical years. It is exaggeratedly traditional. Today we must take steps forward."

Jaume Munar
Jaume Munar © Getty Images Sport - Buda Mendes

Munar on his heated moment with Thanasi Kokkinakis

Last year in Madrid, Kokkinakis got annoyed with Munar's excessive talk with his box and started complaining during the first-set tie-break of their first-round match. But when Munar heard about it, he wasn't happy and interjacked the Australian. 

"Bro, you don't shut up," Kokkinakis bluntly told Munar before proceeding to tell chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani: "I just thought it was rich for him to complain about talking because he's done the same thing the whole time."

Later, Munar went on to seal a 7-6 (7) 7-6 (3) win and moments after sealing a win over Kokkinakis, Munar was heard telling the Australian: "Don't tell me to shut up again." Kokkinakis responded by bluntly asking Munar: "Or what?"

Munar and Kokkinakis then got into it verbally and the things appeared to be on the verge of getting physical. But chair umpire Lahyani got down to the court to separate the two and ultimately nothing happened. 

Jaume Munar and Thanasi Kokkinakis
Jaume Munar and Thanasi Kokkinakis© X

Asked if he felt "disrespected" by Kokkinakis, Munar shut that down instantly. 

"Naah. It’s all part of the game. I’ll be honest with you: he’s neither my best friend nor do I give a damn what Kokkinakis does, because I have other people I’m with. But I don’t think he crossed a line where there was an insult or disrespect on his part. I think there are a lot of other players who have had a lot more disrespect than him," Munar said.

Jaume Munar