Friday, August 31, 2007

TOPIC: US Open - Day 5: Nadal Picks His Seat... and Other Player Quirks
Not much in my fan camp occurred today at the US Open. Tonight, Rafael Nadal played Janko Tipsarevic in a rather uneventful match. The kids and I had a little fun with Rafa, though. It seems that the young Spaniard has a pre-serve quirk that is quite hilarious, if not a bit gross. Nadal picks his seat -- or what we call, a butt crack snack. If you don't believe me, watch him Sunday afternoon as he plays.
The norm is to take three balls from the ball-boy. Switch them around once; drop one. Stick one ball in his right pocket, swoop his hair behinds his ears and then for the finale -- Nadal pulls out a wedgie from his butt crack. On second serves, he generally doesn't take the third ball or swoop the hair. BUTT, he still goes digging for gold.
My wife thought I was being cruel, saying Nadal doesn't pick his seat on almost every play. I challenged her that he does it dozens of times every match I've ever seen him play. So, we counted. Yeah, I know... but the kid got a great laugh out of slow-motion TiVo of the "butt crack snack". In fact, we counted each Rafa butt crack snack for the match -- until Tipsarevic retired from a rib injury during the third set. The total = 67 butt crack snacks for Rafael Nadal. His pants even showed a large wet spot from all that digging crack with his right hand.
My wife asked me if other players have odd quirks. The only ones I have seen during the 2007 US Open are Maria Sharapova's two high bounces before shreeking on every serve. John Isner generally bounces the ball between his legs, from behind, on his first serve.

Can you think of other tennis players with odd quirks? If so, feel free to leave a comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My gal pal and I thought we were the only ones who noticed Rafa's quirky habit. We called it 'Rafa Going To The Movies' because he was always 'picking out his seat'. During Nadal's recent U.S. Open quarter-final match with Mardy Fish, we noticed that Mardy also had a tendency to grab his shorts, only Mardy was grabbing the front. I assume it was an attempt to adjust his cup (I'm also assuming he was wearing one). We decided to keep score to see which player was busiest below the belt. After the first set, Nadal held a comfortable 18-7 lead. We eventually got creeped out and quit counting, deciding that concentrating on the quality tennis was a more worthwhile endeavor. But, it's nice to know someone else besides us noticed this somewhat strange but obvious behavior. :-)