That's Janko Tipsarevic's coach, Dirk Hordorff, giving Tipsy a signal during Thursday's quarterfinal match against Novak Djokovic. Despite the rules against on-court coaching, Hordorff called out to Tipsarevic before he served at 6-5 in a second-set tiebreak, placed his fist on his chin, raised his middle digit and pressed it against his nose.
An instant later, Tisparevic double faulted on set point. He went on to lose the next two points, dropping the match in Dubai to his close friend, Djokovic, 6-1, 7-6 (6).
I think it's time to retire that call, Dirk.
The nerves that have long plagued Tipsarevic in big matches were evident against Djokovic. Of the top-ranked player's eight points in the decisive tiebreak, one was earned. The rest came on Tipsarevic errors or misplays. At 3-0, he sprayed a forehand wide. At 4-1, he was tentative on a soft second serve from Djokovic and immediately got behind in the point. He double faulted at 4-3 and then again on set point. There's a mental block when matches get close.
Djokovic remained undefeated in 2012. He'll face Andy Murray in a Friday semifinal that's a rematch of their tight Australian Open semifinal. Roger Federer will play the winner of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro in the other semi.
And because I know some of you were going to ask, the other person in the photo is Tipsarevic's wife, Biljana.