Wimbledon began in a private club in a small district of London. The name of the district, ‘Wimbledon’, was later adopted as the official name for the Championship. The game was played by the upper-class society back in those days and hence is also known as the Gentlemen’s Singles. But is there anything gentlemeanly about the game now? The money angle rules now. But beyond that there is the boorish behaviour of the players themselves. In the most recent such incident, the stars of the sport came under fire on July 11 and superstar Rafael Nadal was at the centre of the controversy. I an unthinking moment he handed over some trash to a ball boy to throw in the waste bin in between a break in the match that he was featuring in. While no one really payed any attention in the stadium, it sparked an outrage online as netizens ridiculed him for handing waste to the ballboy. Nadal is one of the big guns of tennis who has participated in this year’s edition. The incident was captured in video and this went viral quickly. The ball boy completed the task in hand uncomplainingly but that did not stop the social media community to take offence from the act.
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“Ah seriously.. NADAL THE BIN IS RIGHT BESIDE YOU..PUT YOUR OWN LITTER INTO IT,” tweeted one viewer.
Another fumed: “What a lazy lad! Big fan Rafa, but you can’t reach for the bin which is just two inches away from you?”
The Spanish player was ruled out of the competition after a five-set defeat to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller on Monday. Meanwhile, earlier in the tournament, French player Adrian Mannarino was fined for shoulder-barging a ballboy in his second-round victory over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita. This act of his was considered as “unsportsmanlike conduct” and was fined $9,000. Novak Djokovic according to a report by DNA said,”Players can be at times harsh but you have to understand the players’ point of view as well.” He added, “Obviously things are happening when you don’t have much time to recover from one point to another. Sometimes those four, five seconds, somebody brings a towel, tosses the ball, can cause trouble for you. You can get a time violation, which happened many times in the past. But they’re a very important part of tennis.” There are around 250 ballboys and ballgirls on duty with an average age of 15 years at Wimbledon over the two-week tournament. Last Friday, a ballboy was accidentally hit in the face by a ball hit by Muller during his match against Aljaz Bedene. Muller went to the net to apologise reported DNA.