Wimbledon has always been a tournament that prides itself on its tradition and its class. The players all required to wear white, and are referred to as “Gentlemen” and “Ladies”, rather than “Men” and “Women. In the 138 years of the tournament, very little has changed.
American Coco Vandeweghe and Australian Nick Kyrgios, two passionate and opinionated young players, brought their personality to the court during their respective runs over the last week, and stirred up some controversy in the process.
Kyrgios reached the fourth round at the All-England Club before falling to France’s Richard Gasquet. In that match, Kyrgios displayed some unprofessionalism, failing to return some of Gasquet’s serves in protest of a code violation he received earlier.
In his match prior against Milos Raonic, Kyrgios was disciplined for tossing his racquet into the stands.
While Vandeweghe’s antic weren’t as demonstrative as Kyrgios, the fiery American had plenty to say in her post-match comments. First going after Carmelo Anthony, calling the New York Knicks star “soft,” and then saying Maria Sharapova was unsportsmanlike in moving in the middle of Vandeweghe’s serves.
Whether or not you like or condone the actions of both of these players, you cannot deny that it has brought more attention to the sport of tennis in recent weeks. While Wimbledon always receives national and international coverage, incidents like this offer a different type of story, and add some much-needed character and personality to the sport.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.