Found January 19, 2012 on Tennis Panorama :
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MELBOURNE PARK,  Australia – Marcos Baghdatis was fined 800 dollars for purposely breaking 4 racquets during his match against Stanislas Wawrinka on Wednesday night. Take a look at the video above.

Questions regarding racquet breaking became all the rage in t post match news conferences on Thursday. Here a few excerpts:

Q.  Marcos Baghdatis smashed four racquets last night in one minute.  When is the last time you smashed a racquet, and have you ever smashed that many?
ANA IVANOVIC:  You might be surprised, but I do smash racquets sometimes.  Last time I smashed not as many, but I smashed three racquets.  That was US Open I think ’09.  I lost match after being a match point up.  I was quite upset.
It didn’t really make me better, so I decided, What’s the point?

Q.  After the events of last night, Baghdatis breaking his racquet, how do you feel about breaking your racquet on court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I didn’t know he broke a racquet, but I’m not surprised that he broke a racquet.  Personally I haven’t broken too many in my career.  Don’t recall breaking one during a match.  Have broken a couple at practice.
Um, but must be a good feeling.  I mean, yeah, just let it all go, I guess.

Q.  Any thoughts about players breaking their racquets on the court?  Do you think that helps out?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That’s an interesting question, and different.  Thank you.
I actually used to break a lot of racquets on the court.  I sometimes break them in practice, just not in a match anymore.
I think when you’re young it kind of maybe lets out a little frustration.  It just is a way to express yourself.  I think those players are super, super intense.  So I can’t necessarily go and say you shouldn’t do that when I was actually someone that did it a lot.
I got to a place where I could see how many places I could crack in a racquet.  I got five.  This is great.
But it’s definitely not the best way to release your anger.  I think the older you get, you realize there’s more different ways.

Q.  Baghdatis broke four racquets in one minute last night.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I’ve never done that.  That’s impressive, wow.

Q.  Last night Marcos Baghdatis broke four racquets in one minute.  What do you think about breaking racquets, and have you done that sort of thing?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  You know, sometimes you get angry and it’s difficult to control yourself.  But, I mean, one, it can happen.  Four, it’s a lot (smiling).

Q.  Have you ever broken a racquet when it’s been in the plastic still?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  Never.  Never.  But, anyway, my father told me all the time, If you broke the racquet, I broke you.  (Laughter.)
So I go easy with the racquet.  Sometimes I prefer hit myself than my racquet.

 

Bug banter

Back on Tuesday night Serena Williams complained about the bugs during her late night match.

Her original quote:

“Bugs fell on my back twice.  I hate bugs more than you can imagine.  I hate bugs.  Like, they kept jumping on me.  I just, Yuck!  So I’m going to request not to play at night anymore because I hate bugs, except for the final.  I heard it’s at night, though.  I’ll try to get used to them.”

This led to more bug questions from the media on Thursday:

Q.  Serena Williams was afraid of the bugs out on center court.  Just wondering, are you afraid of insects or anything like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don’t know.  Are you?  You look like someone that could be afraid of bugs.

Q.  I am actually a little bit.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah?  Okay.

Q.  Do you have any phobias like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I mean, I don’t like spiders and all that stuff.  But I think they’re staying away from center court, so I think I’ll be okay.

Q.  Serena Williams was worried about the insects on center court.  She was afraid of them.  Are you afraid of bugs or anything similar?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  No.  I mean, that’s okay.  If it’s not dangerous, that’s fine.
But, yeah, I play with some ‑ how you call it ‑ bugs.  I played last night with bugs against Istomin.  It was okay.  Good neighbors (laughter).

Q.  Serena got a bit scared of the insects out on court.  Are you afraid of bugs at all?
ANA IVANOVIC:  No, no.  More snakes.  Or sharks.  (Laughter.)

Q.  So you played on a court with snakes?
ANA IVANOVIC:  No.  Luckily growing up in Serbia we don’t have too many.  Not the dangerous ones.  Although my dad found really poisonous snake on golf course when he was playing, the black one.  I don’t know the name.

Q.  Here in Australia?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, here in Australia.  Actually in Perth.  He was actually quite scared.

Q.  You swim in Australia, but you’re still afraid of sharks?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, I am.  But did you ever see me swim (laughter)?  I swim in the water back and forth.  I need to have someone further than me, then I feel safe.

 

No William Tell trick shot for Serena

Q.  There’s a YouTube video of you attempting the Roger Federer trick shot.  The guy has the bottle on his head.  You went quite low.  What happened there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t have the same aim Roger Federer has.  He’s like the greatest player ever.  I thought that I was at least somewhat close.  But clearly I am not even close, so…

Karen Pestaina is the founder and editor of Tennis Panorama News. She is in Melbourne, Australia covering the Australian Open as a member of the media.  Follow her throughout the Australian Open on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. She freelances for various media outlets and has worked for many a broadcast news entity. She witnessed her first live tennis match as a young child at Forest Hills when Guillermo Vilas upset Jimmy Connors to win the 1977 US Open. This branded her as a Vilas fan for life.

 

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