David Ferrer Gets Physical with Line Judge Down Under
Tennis is not exactly a contact sport, and physical altercations are more or less non-existent on the professional level, or any level, for that matter.
However, when something does go down, it only serves to illustrate just how completely devoid of contact the sport actually is, particularly in comparison to other more violent endeavors. I mean, it isn’t golf by any means, but not too far off in this regard.
David Ferrer apparently became a bit agitated recently during a match against Thomas Berdych at the Australian Open. Ferrer approached a courtside chair with the intention of placing his towel down. A line judge was standing innocuously in front of said chair, and that's when Ferrer went to his dark place, shoving the line judge aside and freeing up the chair for his personal use.
Have a look.
I'm fairly certain this harmless line judge wasn't acting with malicious intent or looking to ruin anyone’s day, but Ferrer seemed to take it pretty hard. While the contact itself was fairly benign, it was completely unnecessary, and on a tennis scale of violence, it could be deemed a borderline assault.
Ferrer lost the match to Berdych and could also be looking at a reasonably stiff fine for this little tussle, as the rules pertaining to physical contact with officials, opponents, and fans at a tournament are pretty unambiguous.
The only real consequence of this incident -- besides the potential fine, of course -- is to make Ferrer look awfully silly. Yes, frustration is a part of any sport, but that doesn't excuse this nonsense. I mean, either pummel him mercilessly with your racquet or politely ask him to move. But we will have none of these half measures.
If you recall, this is not the first time David Ferrer has looked ridiculous on a tennis court. There was the time he got frustrated during a match and projected his rage toward a crying baby. He ended up losing that one in straight sets to Mardy Fish and cited indigestion as the primary reason for his poor play.
Despite these incidents, Ferrer is largely considered a good dude, and it really was just a love tap delivered to the line judge. However, he probably should monitor his behavior, if only to maintain appearances.
Tennis may not feature much physical contact, but it does provide the occasional temper tantrum or verbal confrontation, which can be quite entertaining on its own.