Male concern for {tennis} balls – Rafa versus Djokovic 2012

Rafael Nadal, Three balls, The Myndset Brand Strategy
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Having just spent some mindless hours watching various Roland Garros 2012 tennis matches on the television, there are two things that drive me bonkers. The first are Rafa Nadal’s incessant superstitious ticks.  The hair tuck, the nose wipe, the shirt tuck, the jock strap fix and the ball bouncing.  It’s bad on the 1st serve.  It’s OTT on the second serve.

Ticks of Nadal, The Myndset Digital Marketing Strategy

The second issue I have is a more generalized habit of dropping balls by ALL the men on the tennis pro tour.  In case you [general public] didn’t know, the balls are renewed every seven games (16 new balls at a time, at least on the ATP).  Granted they hit the ball hard, but that’s pretty good service.  That said, you know that the habit of selecting the most lively balls has gone overboard when the players  do the same farcical act with the brand new balls as well.  Below, we have (literally) a screen grab of Rafa playing Djokovic in the Roland Garros 2012 finals.

Rafael Nadal, Three balls, The Myndset Brand Strategy

The thing that got me riled up is that the first service percentage for both players in the men’s final was near or below 50%; so the real impact of the “best” ball was absolutely negligible.  But, the second thought was that the women — even in Sharapova’s noisy and historic final — do not go through the same song and dance of selecting the best ball before every service.  They just get on with the game.  Hurray.

I would like to ban this ridiculous, petulant, if not arrogant, selecting of the best balls.  After all, once the ball is in play, it’s the same for both players.  Secondly, I would wish the voodoo of ticks were less indicative of success!

Oh, and a final hat tip to Djoko for his sportsmanlike conduct when he acknowledged that a ball was miscalled out and over-ruled the “rules” to allow the point to be awarded to Nadal (in the 2nd set).  Wish we could see more sportsmanship like that (and forget the racquet throwing!).

5 Comments, RSS

  1. joel lewis


    Your time might be better spent practicing YOUR serve. These are the BEST players EVER. I say cut them some slack.

    Did i tell you i am “inventing” a new tennis short… it will have a handle built into the butt, to pull on before you serve.

  2. Hi Joel,

    I will be glad to work on my serve once I get over surgery. In the meantime, a bit of armchair commentary!

    As for best players ever, I think the jury is still out. I’m no fan of Rafa’s but you have to hand it to him. Great final, even if it didn’t go 6 hours!

    Designing a new Nadalian tennis short? Haha.

  3. Yin Nooy

    That is so mean of you to pick on his habits. I would like to see how you go playing on the big stage – maybe you would have a few more habits to mention. I love Rafael Nadal and the more habits he has means I get to see more of him. Leave him alone! Vamos Rafa!

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