Spain's David Ferrer fired a tennis ball in the direction of a distracting, crying baby in the stands while on his way to losing to Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals of the Miami Masters this past Wednesday.
In his post-match interview, Ferrer said about the incident, "It was in one moment of the match, but nothing special. It was not the problem."
As Chris from Family Guy says " Wwwhhaattttt?"
While tennis has a history of on court jerks, this sets a new standard of bad behavior. Several news reports compare Ferrer's actions as the worst on court behavior since John McEnroe's outbursts in the late 1970s. It's a fascinating world of media that we live in since actions that are renounced at the time, are latter reinvented as behavior we celebrate. Remember, the media once universally denounced John McEnroe's outbursts at Wimbledon, and now his obnoxious boorish behavior is the gimmick that fans come to his matches to see.
Who knows, maybe this is not such a bad career move for Ferrer. McEnroe runs a junior development program now, maybe Ferrer's actions will one day springboard him to become the spokesman for QuickStart?
Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.