The tennis world is in a self-righteous outrage over France’s Gael Monfils. It seems the gatekeepers like John McEnroe and others didn’t care for Monfils performance in his semi-final loss against Novak Djokovich in which at times Monfils stood flat-footed for Novak’s serves. The New York US Open crowd – notoriously the worst tennis-worthy crowds in the Grand Slams – heartily booed disapprovingly.
For anyone who has followed Monfils in his long, colorful career we can only say, What did you expect? He’s the genius of the unexpected. He was getting trounced by the powerful Djokovich and so Gael went Zen. He decided to get inside Djok’s head. It worked. It worked enough to get Novak frustrated enough to rip his shirt on court as if he was the Incredible Hulk. It worked enough that Gael won the 3rd set. It just wasn’t enough to win the match.
We find it laughable that those who pretend to speak for the game of tennis condemn someone like Gael Monfils who has toiled in the middle ranks for well over a decade entertaining and thrilling crowds all over the world.
We find it equally laughable that a USTA player as personally reprehensible as Nick Kyrgios of Australia is promoted in tennis so wildly that he is featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, yet his own country of Australia finds him so demeaning that their Olympic Committee refused to allow Kyrgios to represent them in this past Summer Olympics.
That is the world of tennis. Where the Powers That Be try to crush Free Spirits like Gael Monfils.
And, also, where everyone forgets it was just in 2009 at the US Open when “the greatest tennis player in the world(sic)” threatened a small lineswoman with “I’ll F**cking take the ball and shove it down your f**cking throat!”
In the karmic terms we measure greatness, that’s laughable.