Dmitry Tursunov (Photo Getty Images)
Former Russian tennis player Dmitry Tursunov, now Belinda Bencic’s coach, has uttered venomous words about the world of men’s tennis and what has become of the Tour that he lacked in character and personality. He did so during the Craig Shapiro Podcast, in which he fully defended Nick Kyrgios and slammed the players for being too lenient and measured. Here are some of his statements that are sure to spark debate.
“Right now tennis is trying to neutralize the emotions that you feel in this sport. Players are afraid to show themselves as they are, to say what they really think in front of the microphone, because they know that anything you say can be misrepresented at the moment. For example, if you go to a press conference and say, “I think I played very well today,” many will surely think that you are being arrogant or belittling your opponent. Because of things like this, players have started to feel this fear when it comes to expressing themselves, which has also made it difficult to be yourself in front of people. That’s why Kyrgios fills up all the stadiums he plays in because he hasn’t been countered as much as the others yet. He’s been fined, yes, but not enough so he doesn’t care. He has too strong a personality.”
Tursunov continues, using a pretty strong example to get his thoughts across: “Where’s the problem if a player raises their middle finger to the stand mid-game? Sure, it’ll seem like a bad gesture and get instant boos, but you’ve already got the whole crowd emotionally involved. You made them hate someone, you made them feel something instead of just standing there and doing nothing but yawning or opening a bag of chips.”
A really special position that of the former Top30, who regrets the absence of more argumentative and exuberant players who, in a way, even with excesses, involve the stands more.