Thu Aug 18 03:50pm EDT
After 3 hours, 37 minutes, three tiebreaks, four match points saved, countless erratic points and multiple frustrated tosses of his racquet, Fernando Verdasco finally lost to Rafael Nadal at the Western & Southern Open, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (9). Before exchanging a cold handshake with his fellow Spaniard, Verdasco dropped his racquet, bent down and intentionally spit on the baseline:
Ooh, you showed that baseline, Fernando! That'll teach it to sit there all parallel and white while you double fault seven times and fail to consolidate breaks.
This was no accidental loogie; Verdasco carefully picked his spot, hawked a good one and expectorated on the same line that a Nadal forehand had barely fallen within on match point. He literally spit in disgust, as one Twitter follower put it.
It was one of multiple tantrums that the world No. 21 threw during the match. At various points during the second set he chucked his racquet on the ground in disgust, once unknowingly cracking the frame and not realizing it until after playing two more points.
That behavior is immature. Spitting is disgusting. Nobody wants to see that nonsense. I'm not going to sit here and act like it's the biggest offense ever perpetrated on a tennis court, but it's completely unacceptable nonetheless. The ATP should fine him and issue a stern warning that such things won't be tolerated in the future. And Verdasco should worry more about taking advantage of big points rather than how he's going to express his anger when he doesn't.