Tomas Berdych refused to shake the hand of Nicolas Almagro followed his fourth-round victory over the Spaniard at the Australian Open. The seventh-seeded Berdych was still upset about a point from a few minutes before in which Almagro hit a legal forehand directly at his body.
We'll start with a look at that point, from late in the match. Berdych was up two sets to one and serving at 5-5, 40-0.
Almagro's shot didn't look dirty. He was off balance, running to hit the forehand and had only a split second to decide where to place it. Almagro couldn't have gone to the right of Berdych; there was no angle. He couldn't have gone to the left, his path to the ball wouldn't have allowed it. There was only one play. It wasn't a gallant decision, but it wasn't an unsportsmanlike one either.
Any concern about Almagro's guilt should have been assuaged by his immediate reaction and apology. Berdych had every reason to be heated in that initial moment. With the apology and the fact that he ende...