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Henin reacts to Yuri Sharapova’s throat-slashing gesture at the Australian Open.

Posted by tennisplanet on February 13, 2008


Henin reacts to Yuri Sharapova’s throat-slashing gesture at the Australian Open, made after Sharapova’s win over Henin in the quarterfinals: “I was really annoyed and I telephoned Larry Scott to ask his opinion. He told me that he found the gesture unacceptable.

“You shouldn’t have to see this type of thing in a tennis stadium. It takes away from the image of women’s tennis and can open the door for all types of problems.

“I didn’t take the gesture personally but it shocked me for tennis.”


11 Responses to “Henin reacts to Yuri Sharapova’s throat-slashing gesture at the Australian Open.”

  1. sceral said

    TP, a small correction to Yuri’s name. In the Russian language, as well as most Slavic languages, the ending of male’s family name is -ov, not -ova. Female names end in -ova. The proper way is : Yuri Sharap-ov but Maria Sharap-ova.

  2. Gracie said

    Sceral, given TP’s inclination toward using monikers like ‘Aunt Toni’ and the ‘Bryan Sisters’, perhaps his use of the feminine name here was no accident at all. Heh!

  3. Jenny said

    LOL Gracie – TP’s whacky sense of humour, it took me a while to get used to it too.

  4. faith said

    Not to excuse Yuri Sharapov, I do remember watching Martina Hingis and her mother Melani Molitor used to do a similar thing meaning to “finish it off.” It was called the chop chop.

  5. Lolita said

    Yuri’s throat-slashing and Dad Djoko’s thumb-down gestures could have meant “to finish it off”, just a prod, like M. Molitor’s chop-chop, IF they were done DURING the match. But they were done AFTER the match when Henin and Federer already lost and were packing their bags to exit the stadium. What else could they have meant? Dijana already gave the definition to Dad Djoko’s gesture, “the king is dead,” didn’t she? The bottom line is Yuri and Djoko’s parents are simply class-less people.

  6. sceral said

    Gracie, you may be right. I could give TP the benefit of meaning to misuse the name. What I can’t believe is that professional commentators who make big money “knowing” their tennis don’t seem to bother learning at least the proper pronunciation of players names. As for Sharapov and Djoko’s parents – they bring new meaning to arrogance. I think it was TP who observed once that some kind of bad karma follows the players who defeat Fed. I am curious to see if it works for Djoko.

  7. eva said

    Sceral, your comment about arrogance is right on. But even then, it’s not only arrogance–because that can be done without these very obvious messages and putdowns–but also the crudeness of it. Crude and barbaric sort of behaviour. The gestures, at least in one camp, had been severely compounded by the all foofra and complaints about the French fans, who did not do anything wrong==actually it was the Djokovic family who did do something wrong–hear, hear, another wrong–by trying to push the Serbian flag up to cover the French flag! Crude, and also barbaric. Then their very evident displeasure that the crowd was not on Djokovic’s side.
    His on-court words: I know you didn’t want me to win, but I love you anyway,” was not sincere to me at all. He was mad at the crowd, pointing his racket with wide-staring eyes at someone who made a noise or a call. That is annoying, but such reactions won’t get him the liking and respect of fans, which he had worked so hard to achieve. What he loved was getting the title.
    And Henin, she does not deserve anything like that! Anyone seeing these gestures, the players themselves, really know that it reflects unfavorably on the people who do such things, so at least, probably there was no personal hurt forHenin and Federer. A player sees that kind of behaviour, he knows what kind of opponents he/she is dealing with, and the level of the culture and decency.
    It is not worth returning some sort of gesture or comment to people like this, but it is good that Henin spoke to tournament director? or an official about it. Using trash talk to players on=court, and maybe during practice, too, wanting extra special treatment, insulting gestures to the opponent, should be made unacceptable, penalties to follow.Yuri could be a suitable adition to the Djokovic group although they behaved even worse than he did, with the comments and their characterization of their son’s win with the words “The king is dead….”
    But they must be reined in, and soon, otherwise we may see escalation of this attitude in tennis.
    In Spain an American was given a bad time, and racial slurs were used against him. Berdych was also badly treated–and I mean badly, not just not the crowd support for his opponent, but booing him and other things,

  8. Jenny said

    I agree Sceral, commentators should get the name right and something that irritates me too. Did you ever see the vid clip of the umpire trying to get his head or tongue around Ivanisevic? I think Goran just gave up in the end! Eevan..iss..evich – is it that hard?

    The karma thread was started by TP. However, the darker element was initiated by Alex, an early poster, who I think rather got into making a study of Fed’s ‘victims’ and constructing his list. It was meant as a bit of harmless fun at the time, but….

  9. faith said

    Mike Agassi was the original Yuri.

  10. ricke said

    No doubt Yuri is a putz, but Justine has not always behaved so well herself. Don’t forget her phantom time-out gesture when playing Serena and then pretending it never happened. That wasn’t a pristine moment in women’s tennis either.

  11. Bill said

    I feel bad for Justine…always looking in the stands for a sign from her coach whether or not to challenge a call. It got her in trouble at the AO when she ran out of challenges after being told what to do…. Isn’t this sort of behaviour considered to be ‘cheating’?

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