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Five bad environments that players battle with at events

Five bad environments that players battle with at events

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by GALE MOORMAN

Players have to deal with much from actually turning pro to participating in tournaments. Much of the experiences are great but too many situations are not. Here are five environments that unfortunately players have to deal with in events: Boos, chants and heckling can unnerve tennis play and players.

"But yeah, we've just been yelling, chanting and overall the response from the crowds have been really good, says Jacob Wright, a 20-year-old that lead 'The Genie Army' back a few years ago. Canada's Eugenie Bouchard had been the only Canadian in over two decades to reach the semifinals of any grand slam and at the Australian Open of 2014 as well as earlier this 'Army' came into being.

They were nearly more than a dozen young Australian 20-something guys who supported her throughout events she played. They had no link at all to Canada and wore red and white t-shirts that had the name spelled out in bold letters.

Boos, yells, chants and heckling were big then and it seems like at other events it has resurfaced. During the semifinal round of the Miami Open a few days ago, between Federer and Australia's Nick Kyrgios it was chaotic.

The three hour, three tie-breaker extravaganza featured not only Federer and Kyrgios' nail-biting slugfest but constant booing, chanting, and heckling from a pro-Federer crowd and as others had mentioned even, unfortunately Federer's wife.

When Kyrgios had double-faulted during a point in the match the crowd erupted with nearly overall applauds. The banter became unbearable to Kyrgios showing natural distractions in his game play causing him to yell to the crowd "shut up".

This was an overt display of total disrespect as the chair ump Mohamed Lahyani had to announce "Please show good sportsmanship to both players" when actually most of the poor sportsmanship was shown to Kyrgios. The boos and outrageous acts are ever present too with Brazilians whether it's at a soccer match or tennis event when the Rio Olympics were around last August.

Novak Djokovic felt the thunder and said, as he gave an excuse for his crying upon being defeated by Juan delPotro that, "this crowd makes me feel Brazilian, that's why I am crying, I didn't want to disappoint them".

It's a bit much to put up with but it comes with the territory of being a professional tennis player. The weather may be a natural act but it is totally annoying and can be a vicious environment for players to deal with and their fans to endure.

If it's not the wind, excessive heat of the Australian, Miami or US Open, it's the cold, damp climate of the French Open. Players can compensate and wear long sleeves but the situation impedes on their bodies and psyches.

Wimbledon goes through rain delays but there is Centre Court with the retractable roof. This is only good for matches held there and nowhere else. Rain delays at any event are unbearable and does influence the players' performances be it a few minutes, hours or a day later.

Australia has it's heat time out period but three years ago at the 2014 Australian Open there was total disruption. Canada's Frank Dancevic had collapsed during his loss to Benoit Paire as well as Ivan Dodig's collapse and was forced to retire.

A ball boy was carried off who fainted and everyone's play was affected. Rain delays and stoppage for the day at some events players can at least get their money back, but some events patrons will have to wait till next year's rain check period.

Crowd control can be a real environmental hazard when players are either being haunted for autographs and selfies. Entering and exiting practice courts can be difficult when there's not much security around or signing balls for patrons and fans.

The Monica Seles incident of 1993 with no proper security and a deranged fan comes down on the court to stab her was uncalled for and the fault lies with the lack of security. Since then security stands next to players looking up in the crowd during events.

Some players even take back entrances and exits to ward off over intending fans from overpowering them. The Opponent can be the worst environment if their skills and tactics of tennis are far superior or lackluster than the other player.

The luck of the draw only applies to players that are playing with no aggressive opponents. One player will have luck if the opponent is injured and taking advantage of their injury can be the right situation to getting a win of a match or possibly a title.

A strong aggressive player can be not only the opponent but the enemy. The Officials/linespeople can be in a player's good interest or a player's enemy if they get along well or dislike each other horribly.

Favoritism may exist between officials to players as well as situations. Various rule callings might be overlooked during a final whereas it would be called if the action was in the first or second rounds. Lines people calls rely nearly all on sight and if a bad call keeps happening and the chair umpire has to overrule it if the hawkeye isn't used at that match.

The elements, the environments is what players have to deal with and the fans do also. In so many cases what affects the players, affects the fans and patrons and if bad environments prevail for the players, they will not be putting on the best performances they can give for themselves or for their spectators.

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