© Ella Ling

David Nalbandian

Australian Open diary: Nalbandian's water fight


The fall-out from the David Nalbandian incident continues with the Argentine determined to appeal against his fine of 8000 US dollars, part of which was imposed because he reportedly threw water over a tournament doctor.

Nalbandian was still angry (understandably) after a terrible umpiring decision by Kader Nouni in his defeat by John Isner in round two, when he reportedly threw water over an ATP doctor during post-match drugs testing.

Now the former Wimbledon runner-up “emphatically denies” the incident, saying  that if the authorities stand by the fine, they “would be carrying out two injustices, one on the court and one off.”

In appealing against the fine, Nalbandian runs the risk of having it increased but he received some support from Janko Tipsarevic, who Tweeted:  “fined…DISGRACE! They should fine the chair umpire. They should fine the referee and never let him sit on a chair again!”

In defence of Tipsarevic, whose video blogs we have enjoyed throughout the first week, it seems he wrote that before the reports of the water-throwing incident emerged.

While Victoria Azarenka has looked pretty impressive so far this week, her excessively long, high-pitched grunting has not gone down too well with the crowds, who have made their feelings pretty clear at times.

If she wins the title here the Belarussian won’t care – she has been booed before and she probably will be again – but our friends at The Herald Sun, never ones to spurn an opportunity, have a special competition running online, inviting readers to identify five players from their grunts.

Called “Grunt Match”, it offers up Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Maria Kirilenko, Michelle Larcher de Brito and Azarenka so if your ear-drums can stand it, try it yourself. The Tennis Space got three out of five, which quite frankly, was disappointing.

Serena Williams and Andy Roddick were unable to play in the mixed doubles here after Roddick suffered an injury but the Olympics is clearly on the mind of a lot of the top players as they team up here.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza and Kimiko Date-Krumm and Kei Nishikori are obvious London pairs but a bit of intrigue surrounds Serbia’s likely partnerships.

Janko Tipsarevic said he was thinking of playing with Jelena Jankovic but needs to focus on singles and then doubles with Nenad Zimonjic. Ana Ivanovic hopes to play in the mixed with Zimonjic, and Jankovic could end up playing in the mixed with Novak Djokovic (if he wants to).

Britain’s Laura Robson said her one wish for her 18th birthday (Saturday) was that she wouldn’t have to be on an aeroplane when the day came.

But before she could actually hit the pubs to legally buy a drink for the first time (joking, there are plenty of pubs here that would serve her anyway – if she wanted a drink, which, er, she wouldn’t), she was winging her way back home to begin preparations for next month’s Fed Cup in Israel.

She did enjoy an early celebration dinner on Friday night with Australian Sally Peers, with whom she shares a birthday, and before she left she sent a single Tweet: “18 :)”. Happy birthday Laura.

Another young Briton, Liam Broady, was discussing via Twitter (where else) the other day whether he would beat Serena Williams. It’s an age old discussion, of course, but it all seemed moot when fellow British teenager Heather Watson claimed that she had beaten him in practice.

Now I am not going to accuse Heather of exaggerating the truth but seeing that Broady immediately assured his Twitter followers that in fact, he had won, could there be a hint of mischief-making going on?

Come on Liam, Heather – put us out of our misery, please. What really happened?

  • Ana

    I’m pretty sure Ana Ivanovic & Nenad Zimonjic will be playing mixed doubles together for the Olympics (see AI’s press conference from today). They did a practice run at the USO, but didn’t get past the first round; however, this was the same day Ivanovic had received news of her grandfather’s death and she seemed an emotional wreck.