Why do we breed so many dickhead male tennis players? Is there something about the rhythmic thwock of pressurised gas encased in rubber that activates the deadsh*t gene?
Hours of training in isolation, the sound of ball on racquet broken up only by a parent or guardian periodically hurling abuse… it must do something to the cerebral cortex of a person, you know?
It’s a question for the ages, like, what happened to white dog shit and why is The Big Bang Theory popular?
It’s a classic chicken or egg paradox: Is it that insufferable pricks are drawn to tennis, or does tennis create insufferable pricks? It’s hard to say, really.
But It does take some world champion knobheadery to elicit sympathy for Lleyton Hewitt. To have the entire country in the corner of one of the most irritating sportsmen of all time takes some doing, but alas, here we are, Bern.
There’s something the new breed of Australian tennis players don’t get. They haven’t done anything. For all his annoying behaviour, Hewitt was a warrior. He won majors. He is still the youngest world number one of all time.
Which is amazing now that you think about it, but then this was the era of Thomas “I married Jo Beth Taylor” Muster, Todd “I enjoy losing gallantly in five sets in the semis” Martin and Greg “So, is he Canadian or what, I’m confused” Rusedski. A strange era for tennis, I’m sure we all agree.
Even so, Hewitt got to the mountain top. He has juice. Even The Poo made finals. Sure, he spent most of his time ‘with’ any celebrity who found their way into a Rod Laver arena corporate box, but he also found time to defy a shoulder injury to lead his country to a magnificent Davis Cup victory back in 2003.
We can deal with dropkicks in this country, but only if they do something. And that something is a long overdue successful Davis Cup team.
So there’s a rift in the camp is there? So what?! History is littered with champion teams who put personal buffoonery aside for the greater good. Keith Richards called out Mick Jagger for having a small penis. In print!
I don’t think the world understands know how extraordinary that is. That manuscript would have gone through a million re-writes, a thousand sit-downs with commissioning editors and lawyers and management and they all would have asked Keith the same question – “are you sure you want to put in writing, to be on the record for all of eternity, that your bandmate, the lead singer of one of the greatest bands of mankind, half of the reason you’re a living legend – has a tiny todger?” And every single time, Keith sat up, took a swig, thought about it for a long beat… and said Yes – Mick Jagger is hung like a wasp and I want the world to know about it.
Kinda harssssshhhhh. But you know what happened? They worked through it, they kept the machine going, they kept touring, because that’s what they do best.
And what about Fleetwood Mac? They literally banged each others partners in an outrageous game of oneupmanship. But you know what they did? they went in the studio, lit the midnight candle and got on with the job and made f*cking “Rumours”.
Now I’m not comparing Lleyton Hewitt to Lindsay Buckingham or Bernard Tomic to Stevie Nicks, I’m just saying, we’re all sick of the drama without the results.