The Stepanek-Tipsarevic Davis Cup Kerfuffle: Janko Says Radek Gave Him The Middle Finger Instead Of A Handshake! [Video]
by Staff | April 7th, 2012, 10:49 am

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, has proof, he has a picture where I am showing my right hand like this, and he is showing his right hand like this,” he added.

“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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73 Comments for The Stepanek-Tipsarevic Davis Cup Kerfuffle: Janko Says Radek Gave Him The Middle Finger Instead Of A Handshake! [Video]

Dan Martin Says:

International Goodwill for all

marko Says:

I think it’s pretty low that Stepanek tried to deny it by saying they shook hands normally. The photo is proof..At the very least he should’ve owned up to what he did.

By the way, Stepanek’s behavior is not representative of the Czech people. Not from my experience at least.

Krishna Says:

Wow Stepanek is a represent his country that way is just sad .. he should be fined or penalized..

Novak Says:

Disquasting is what it is, someone that age to behave like a 16 year old sore looser………….

He should be fined, besides he should be retiring, he stinks…………….

sheila Says:

so far i have not seen a picture of stepanek giving tipsaravic the finger. obviously words were xchanged but it could be a “he said, he said” situation. stepanek denies it & tipsaravic says otherwise. the one closeup picture i saw of them shaking hands did not reveal anything @ least to me.

marko Says:


the photo is right there, on this very page..It clearly shows Stepanek giving Tipsy the finger. Well, that particular method of giving the finger is not commonly used in the US (maybe that’s why you don’t recognize it), but it’s unfortunately common in Europe.

I think it’s shameful either way, and I think Stepanek should be punished/censured in some way by the ITF. I don’t think they have to suspend him, but they need to at least do something, at least a slap on the wrist.

Mark Says:

Stepanek should have given him TWO fingers!!!

Sienna Says:

There we go again on with the Serbain way!
Thi Serbian site is disgusting just luke other teams. There nationalistic outbursts are so over the top it is really a bad way to represent your country. In tennis, Football, basketball all sprots where they show this hatred and super nationalistic behavior.

mat4 Says:


If this site is so disgusting, please leave.

Radek overdid it clearly.

alison hodge Says:

mat4 yeah i completely agree,im not really a fan of either of these men to be honest,but from an objective point of view,its radek with the problem not tipsy,nationality doesnt even come into it,common sense does however.

Leon Says:

I think, Stepanek had something against Tipsarevic behind/before this episode, as it’s hard to believe all the stuff emerged simply from a painful loss (Radek is a bit extravagant player but I don’t remember any bad sportsmanship or inadequate interview, etc., and it was not the first tough loss in his career). So far I have heard mostly one-side arguments, from Tipcarevic and of course his fans. Tipsarevic even reported at the presser which exactly obscene word was said, lol (does it make sense if nobody else has heard that?). And although I am from Europe, I am not so perfectly familiar with both the meaning and level of abuse of this so eagerly documented fingers’ design.
But OK, suppose Radek was wrong all around, overexcited, etc. Yet,
even then I’d prefer the whole thing remaining mostly between these two men, no need to blow it out. Something tells me that neither Stepanek is a devil nor Tipsarevic an angel.
All ties are 2-1! Except Spain, the winners are rather uncertain…

mat4 Says:


Radek did what he did, and it wasn’t pretty. But DC is sometimes like that. Then Tipsy overdid it a bit. Then Zimonjic stated some BS.

Then, we have something to chat about.

Leon Says:

So true. Especially the last remark.

alison hodge Says:

as we say in GB 6 of 1,and half a dozen of the other,probably both as bad as each other then.

skeezerweezer Says:

Well Tipsy did not take the high road either, he did not shake Steps coaches hand either and his hand was extended the whole time. Looks like they just don’t like each other from the get go. I cannot tell what kinda of hand play they were doing, other the Steps attempt seemed girly looking. But you all know best on that.

Oh well, so this maybe interesting….

“The battle resumes today with the doubles then the reverse singles tomorrow with Berdych playing Tipsarevic and in necessary Stepanek against Troicki.”

Dave Says:

News article: “Davis Cup drama: Tipsarevic calls out Stepanek”

Wog boy Says:

For all of us growing up in eastern Europe putting a middle finger during handshake to rub somebody’s palm is big NO NO ,it is sign of calling somebody sissy, putting him down, considering him gay and so on. Growing up in Belgrade in 70′s and fighting for my space under the sun I wouldn’t dare to do that to somebody, even friend, unless I had mesage for him and his gang, “West side storry”!
Radek knew what he was doing and most of you people from the west don’t understand that and this is nothing to do nationality because Serbs and Czechs never had any problems, though I did find Czech people bit arrogant (sorry Marko) compared to Slovak people. They both have beautiful women, I use to travel there when Yugoslavia was America for all other eastearn European countries, it was a lot of fun :)
If you read Dave’s link, pretty good one, you will find comment that explains.
To conclude: it is not whether Radek “The Frog-Fish Man” did something wrong, it is that he is lying that he did a normal
handshake, thinking that most of the people didn’t see it and don’t know the meaning of what he did!
Even for DC matches, it is very, very wrong, but then again what else do you expect from him?

Kimmi Says:

with all the insults he could come up with, he chose this “you are a stinking v@gin@”. if i was nicole vaidisova i would be worried.

martini Says:

How sad is that, if it´s true, which I´m afraid it might be, judging from Stepanek´s behaviour when I watched him play at the US Open in 2010. Let´s just say he´s not the classy kind.

mat4 Says:


Very Slavic.

But the same is with French, though most of the French don’t know the french word for “v…”, although they use it every day. Idem for the “f…” word.

skeezerweezer Says:



skeezerweezer Says:

I am feeling the need to hear something good about our beloved game. No excuses, injuries, middle fingers, etc. Just dreaming, but would like to see the some of the top players playing a charity match with each other, cracking jokes, partying with the fans, promoting what a great game this is. Sucks.

Superhuman Says:

Sienna, please stop insulting Serbians, if anything is disgusting it is your comments. It seems that you have an agenda against Serbs,do not why but it is obvious. This is a tennis website and if you have nothing smarter to say please don’t.

Danica Says:

please ignore Sienna, she spills her hatred on another tennis site just the same.

Wag boy,
thank you re: Czechs and Slovaks. I’ve been to Prague and Bratislava two years ago and while I don’t like generalizations ( I felt them myself), Czechs were cold and strict and, I don’t want to say rude, but unfriendly in a way. When I got to Bratislava, I expected the same but was so pleasantly surprised when people smiled at me in a store, or when I asked for directions. So much warmer, nicer. Sorry, this is probably not the place I should be writing this, but it just occurred to me as I am saddened by this whole affair. Berdych’s behaviour at the AO against Almagro was also disgusting. He later apologized but the damage was done :((.
Radek, why, why, WHY?

zola Says:

Here’s the full picture. The handshake video is also on youtube.

It is sad and pathetic. Stepanek should not get away with such behavior.

Wog boy Says:

Any time:)

Wog boy Says:

Don’t take a bite, please !

Wog boy Says:

should say “bait” not “bite”.

Kimmi Says:

isner is up 2 sets to love against tsonga. he is becoming a davis pup hero.

Kimmi Says:

tsonga making a come back.

Wog boy Says:

Congrats USA,

Congrats Isner,

Congrats Jim Courier :)

serbian hammer Says:

Pathetic.Stepanek is a loser,no need to get to emotional about bigface,he lost anyway.

mat4 Says:

Does this make Isner one of the favourites for the FO?

Wog boy Says:


You tell us?

mat4 Says:

Just asking: he lost againt Rafa and Nole in 5 sets, beat Federer, Tsonga, Simon… Could be that clay is his best surface.

Wog boy Says:

Can he keep it up, we shall see next week.

BTW, Happy Easter to all posters that celebrate today.

Wog boy Says:

Tipsy lost first two sets in tiebreaks;( off to bed.

Kimmi Says:

wog boy – he was leading 5-1 in the 3rd set tie break and still lost it. Czech wins.

Mark Says:

Well done Czech!!! Hahaha!!!

alison hodge Says:

wogboy thanks and the same to you,and all the tennis x posters,im not religious but i wish you all a very happy easter.

Superhuman Says:

Thanks Danica and Wog boy.

alison hodge Says:

Danica,wogboy and superhuman,i have to say i too have had my moments with a certain lady poster,however as its the age of the internet,i have learned some peoples posts are not worth bothering with.

alison hodge Says:

^and therefore best ignored^.

MMT Says:

If Stepanek felt Tipsarevic was behaving unsportingly during the match, it would have been better to refuse to shake his hand altogether, rather than debasing himself with a childish gesture. Apparently after the doubles, one of the Serbians refused to shake Stepanek’s hand.

To be honest, there is so much behavior in modern tennis that I consider to be unsporting, I find it difficult to accept that almost anyone on tour takes the moral high ground. I’m sure both Tipsarevic and Stepanek were irritating the hell out of each other throughout the match in so many ways, so who’s to say who was really the worse of the two.

I think the ATP needs to re-examine and clean up the incursion into the areas of fair play that now permeate the game. They need to take a stand against unsporting behavior (intentional or otherwise) so we can enjoy tennis for what it used to be: an honest and fair competition between two men (or women) who respect each other, the audience and the game by playing fairly and considerately.

sar Says:

This site talks about Vince Spadea’s book who has an interesting take on Steps.

sar Says:

It’s better that one of the Serbians didn’t shake Steps’ hand. He might have been tempted to give him the finger back. Better safe than sorry.

mat4 Says:


Tennis-prose in an unusual and original site. The biofiles are very interesting.

mat4 Says:


Radek displayed gamesmanship in that match. And he is good at it: he almost won, despite being a break down in every set.

Wog boy Says:

sar 4:26

:-) :-) :-)

King Federer Says:

So all these “djokovic” fans are actually “serbian” fans.

Anyone who has a different opinion are condemned for being anti-serbian. yet most of these same people labelled the czechs as arrogant. ofcourse they throw in the disclaimer – “i dont want to generalise”. If you dont want to generalise, dont. it really is that simple. If you are going to, then be ready to take the heat from the other side.

As MMT said, the ATP has let too much unfair play slip into the game – MTOs (not one serbian fan will speak about this for obvious reasons) and time violations (again no serbian fan will speak up against). If you are so reckless with rules concerning fairplay, at some point things will blow over.

I think the world knows who is a more irritating bunch – czechs or serbians. A few piddly serbian fans trying to paint the czechs as “arrogant”! oh the irony of it.

skeezerweezer Says:

Re; 2:17 post

Hope tennis x posters read your post, and the rest of Tennis, we need more of THAT!.

Sienna Says:

Tennis and fairplay prevails… let’s hope the Serbs will take a look at their unsportmanlike behaviour and try to atleast be a litle more selfcritical about their performances.
Guys like Tipsarevic, Djokovic and Troicki are well known for their bad sportmanlike conduct. They really have issues with respecting others and claim all their victory to the greater good off the Serbain people who are not the only people who suffered in that area.

Sienna Says:

King Federer I totally agree with you.
Checks are very respected inthe world and need not get aggressive when spoken about unlike some other.

Always aggressive behaviour is in the nature off some people. It has nothing to do with etnicity but with upbringing and culture….

Sienna Says:

checks ?

Dejan Says:

Many here are reversing the Truth. Who says that Serbians talks bad about Czechs?! Be careful what bulshit you are talking here.

Stepanek behaviour is very ugly. Tipsarevic is simply right. Stepanek should receive some penalty from the Tennis organisation.

Also, Serbian players are big friends with their colegues, and fair and mannerly players on the court. You peoples simply telling the untruth.

Dejan Says:

Just to say one thing more. Of course that aggresive behavour is connected with upbringing and culture… If you are not care about upbringing and culture, then you should no comment this… What it is worst is that I am telling you something that little child know…

Sienna Says:

Dejan Says:
Many here are reversing the Truth. Who says that Serbians talks bad about Czechs?! Be careful what bulshit you are talking here.

What the heck does Dejan mean by that? You becarefull your self.

alison hodge Says:

ok im not saying tipsy is an angel by any means,but it was radek that was at fault here,czechs or serbs it makes no difference,two wrongs dont make a right.

Dejan Says:

Sienna, I see here that someone is writted that Serbs condemn Czechs, or that someone is condemned for being anti-serbian if he says that Stepanek was not commited any fault. I see many nonsense here.

Alison, what you mean when you says “two wrongs”?! It is obvious who is comited fault here. What Stepanek did is very ignorant and ugly, he is showed his ignorance and ugly gest to the Tipsarevic on the first place. Also, he is showed how one great sportsman should not act, not even in his dreams.

Danica Says:

King Federer,

Yes, I am a Serb and a proud one. I am also an American. And a tennis fan. I was first a fan of Bruno Oresar and Monica Seles, then of Stefan Edberg and Kent Carlsson, then of Agassi, Jelena Dokic, Safin, and finally, Djokovic and Gulbis (the last one, I am affraid, is the lost case :( ). Regarding Czecks, I wrote what I wrote from my perspective and from what I experienced. It is not really just my opinion and I do believe that the upbringing and culture play a vital part in how peoples present themselves to others, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. What matters here is – the wrong was done by Stepanek and honestly, I was quite disappointed because I considered him one of the more colorful characters on tour and I love those :). I took offense when the media wrote about his marriage to Vaidisova in terms of “Wow, the beauty and the beast” – neither is she a beauty, nor is he a beast, love is the only parameter there and that should be no one’s business. But the gesture in DC is unheard of and completely unnecessary. Today I read that he’d said he would try to talk to Janko and solve this problem, which is really the only way to go.

I wouldn’t mind you voicing your opinions of Serbs, if they are founded on your experience and if you state them civilly. I don’t mind “taking the heat”. I know Sienna from another tennis site (where she might have been banned, I am not sure) where she was really involved in constant and vulgar degradation of everything and everybody Serbian. That’s posting with an agenda. Even here, she speaks about some unkind behavior of Tipsarevic, Troicki and Djokovic while neither one is known for any outbursts or scandals. Not more than other players, at least. Surely, Serbs were not the only ones who suffered through the civil wars of former Yugoslavia, no person in their right mind wanted them, but they happened and had huge impact in lives of those peoples. Despite that, Djokovic has no problem saying his best buddies on tour are guys from Croatia.

Sienna Says:

Dont try to insult us with your relative calm and collected approach when faced with a litle criticism on the Serbain way.
Last year Djoker really pulled out the greatest cover up ever to been witnessed on TVwhen he dedicated his win to the hardship of the Serbian people!
We all know what that means!We know what it means by the Serbian way!

Danica Says:

You are insulted? Good.
What Serbian way? If you pinpoint to what exactly Djokovic TV “cover up” you are referring to, maybe I’d be able to understand what you are trying to say here. Until then, it’s just gibberish. And like it or not, yes, the Serbs went through a lot of pain and suffering. But you wouldn’t know that. If Djokovic wants to dedicate a certain win to his people, who are you, or anyone else for that matter, to forbid him that? Or judge him? I have a feeling you would be talking differently were he one of yours. Pure and simple jealousy.

alison hodge Says:

dejan @12.57pm,yeah i completely agree,nationality never came into question for me,as i already said tipsy may not be perfect,but on this occasion radek was the one with the problem,my post was directed more at the people defending radek,and taking a pop at tipsy.

Wog boy Says:

You misread Alison’s post, when it comes to Alison by reading her comments, when it comes to judging people (players) nationality means nothing to her and she did say clearly that Stepanek did wrong thing, not Janko. You will never find bad or mean word in her post… If only Andy can win GS, I share that wish with you Alison.
I hope you all had happy Easter break, even nonreligious people like Alison, Colin, Grendel….:-) I have another one coming this weekend. My kids were and are luckiest one, they
had (still have), two Christmas and Easters ( most of the time) every year:)
Dejan, as for Nole i will use old Serbian saying:

” Za dobrim konjem prasina se dize.”

Hristos Voskrese
To all of you who are celebratin Easter coming weekend.

queen Says:

GO STEPANEK LOL! Show them Serbs two middle fingers. I whish it was stupid Djokovic he showed it to hahahaha

Dejan Says:

Wog Boy,

I have not understand the whole sentence from Alison, since I don’t know english language very well. In any case, we agree then.

All the best to you wog boy, and to all peoples of the good will.


Dejan Says:

Alison, I was not understand the whole sentence, but I was assume that you are talking good thing. All the best to you.

bojana Says:

There You go now King got queen.Be happy and do not hate so much.

bojana Says:

As I remember Stepanek was using Noles equipment few years ego at WTF.I think that they are good friends.The same could be said for Serbs and Czechs.No hard feelings.The problem is that some people want to picture Serbs as people who hate everybody.

alison hodge Says:

wogboy thanks you said what i was trying to say,but got my words mixed up lol happens quite alot actually,as for andy murray although i dont believe a word jamie says,im hoping he will win wimbledon pyschic or no pyschic,and your right im not religious but im glad to here you and your family had a nice easter,many thanks again.

alison hodge Says:

Dejan sorry that post didnt come across the way i wanted it do,but by the time id typed it and sent it,it was too late,just to say though no offence was meant or intended,it was clearly stepanek that was the one in the wrong here not tipsy,and just to say sorry again for any misunderstanding,all the best to you too.

Alessandra M. DeMarco Says:

Well would you look at who rears her ugly head on yet another site! It’s Sienna, the Serbian basher. Who indoctrinated you, Mom and Daddy, or did you educate yourself in the Liberal section of your local library? I’m pretty sure that tennis is referred to as “A Gentleman’s Game”, and of late, 2 Czechs have been sour grapes with their post match behavior. Tomas Berdych shunned N. Almagro in Melbourne I believe, now Stepanek and his antics. 2 childish reactions could be considered a “Pattern” Sienna, no?

Orthodox Says:

Peace brothers and sisters.

Happy Easter to all the Orthodox Christians.

@ Wog boy

Vajstinu Vaskrsi

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