June 22, 2011
Bethanie Mattek-Sands doesn't just dress like a diva, she can act the part too. The No. 31 seed, who entered Court 14 on Wednesday wearing a jacket created by Lady Gaga's designer, stormed off the same court two hours later after an upset loss without shaking the hand of the chair umpire.
The snub took place after a lob from Mattek-Sands was ruled out on match point, ending her comeback bid from down a set and a break. The American briefly complained about the call and slammed a ball in frustration before shaking the hand of opponent Misaki Doi. Then, instead of shaking the hand of the umpire, as is customary, Mattek-Sands approached the chair, raised her hand, and pulled down her hat rather than offer her hand.
There are no challenges on Court 14. Even if they were allowed, one wouldn't have helped Mattek-Sands' case. Replays show the ball was clearly wide.
In situations like this people are fond of saying there's no excuse for such behavior. Mattek-Sands had plenty of excuses; she thought/hoped the ball was good, wanted to challenge it and didn't want to lose the match, her first ever as a seeded player at Wimbledon. The thing is, none of them outweigh the fact that spurning the handshake of a chair umpire is childish and unsportsmanlike. It always is, no matter how bad you think the call might be.
And, no, Mattek-Sands didn't stop to put on her Lady Gaga jacket on the way off the court.