The big story from the first day of the Davis Cup quarterfinal play was the controversial conclusion of Janko Tipsarevic’s 5-set win over Radek Stepanek in Prague.
Calling it one of the “worst matches I’ve ever played for my team,” Tipsarevic beat the Czech 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 in just over five hours to even the tie 1-1. But the post-match handshake stole the headlines.
“After five hours and 10 minutes instead of shaking my hand, he gave me the middle finger and told me that I am a stinking… something bad, it’s a swear word, let’s just say, ‘vagina’,” Tisparevic said in his post match.
“I can understand that somebody like him can be angry after losing a match, especially after having so many chances. But doing this and it’s not that I would never invent something like this. Our photographer,
“Unbelievable. I never, ever, ever, thought that I would experience this, especially because of my behaviour on court. I’m not saying I’m a ‘golden boy’ and I’m the Stefan Edberg of men’s tennis. But at least I know what is right and what is not right. There is just only one only word this, it is pathetic. Nothing else.”
Stepanek, who blew three matchpoints, claimed there was no need for the altercation.
“We normally shook hands,” Stepanek told the AP. “He was likely happy that he won.”
Later, via twitter Tipsarevic says this is what happened when the two shook hands.
“I think this picture says what I ment,” he tweeted.
“It really is a shame that a great tennis nation like CZE is represented by someone like him,” he also wrote referring to Stepanek.
Unfortunately, no video or picture evidence, aside from what Tipsarevic has posted, has emerged of the “bird”. The camera director cut away from the players leading up to and including the handshake.
But clearly heated words were exchanged and something took place as both players had to be separated.
The battle resumes today with the doubles then the reverse singles tomorrow with Berdych playing Tipsarevic and in necessary Stepanek against Troicki.
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