Men’s professional tennis gets mediocre ratings when compared to the other professional sports out there. Recently, a Harris Interactive Poll showed just how unpopular men’s tennis is…it’s No. 14, which sounds like a decent number until you see that it’s stuck between horse racing and women’s soccer.
The sport lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that might make it stand out among the badmintons, horseshoes, and ladies lacrosse leagues of the world.
How can tennis make itself cool again? Maybe it needs another heated rivalry like McEnroe and Connors or a drug/cheating scandal like baseball and football. Or maybe it could use an injection of pop culture.
That almost happened at the Rogers Cup in Toronto this past weekend. That is, until top tennis player in the world Novak Djokovic opened up his mouth…and his nose.
It was his sensitive olfactory system that made international news because some Canuck was enjoying the hippie lettuce in the stands, causing Djokovic to get “dizzy” during his doubles match. From the BBC:
After winning the first set, the Serb approached the chair, saying: “Someone is smoking weed, I can smell it, I’m getting dizzy.”
Djokovic later told reporters: “You can’t believe how bad it was.
“Whoever it is, I hope he doesn’t come back tomorrow. He’s probably on the seventh sky somewhere.”
This sounds more like yet another Grateful Dead farewell tour than a tennis match, and we have no idea what “the seventh sky” might be. But the wacky tobaccy didn’t put Djokovia in a chill mood: he throttled Jeremy Chardy in the Saturday semifinal, 6-4, 6-4.
No word on how aggressively he attacked the evening buffet.