Silly distractions

It seems that two invalids won the Australian Open singles titles, with Serena Williams bent over coughing and looking like she was in need of resuscitation, and Novak Djokovic nursing a sore thumb before hobbling at the back line of the court with an apparent malfunctioning ankle.

Yet both went on to win emphatically enough the respective women’s and men’s trophies.

While it is no valid excuse for their opponents, Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray, not to have beaten them, there is also no valid excuse for this kind of affected behaviour in tennis championship finals.

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Too much tolerance in today’s tennis is possibly causing an increase in these antics during big matches. A wooden-legged Sharapova needs to have some on-court mobility coaching, and Murray could do with some advice about single-mindedness and firming up against easy distraction.

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive