Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard’s exciting run at the Australian Open came to an end when fourth-seeded China’s Li Na defeated her in the semi-finals. The older and more experienced Chinese player won decisively 6-4, 6-2 over the 20th seeded 19-year-old who had become the sweetheart of the tournament.
In her post-match comments Li had nothing but praise for her opponent: “I think maybe she will be best player in the world. But today [I’m] so lucky,” she said during a court-side interview after the match. Then, in light of Bouchard’s large following at the Open, known as Genie’s Army, she jokingly said “Sorry about that, if you guys be happy, I will go home.”
A wonderful run by Genie Bouchard and a class act by Li Na.
Now if we look back to last Sunday’s NFL semi-final in which the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl we find the other end of the post-game-victor interview. In what has now become a much ballyhooed rant by Seattle’s Richard Sherman, the corner-back of the winning team tears a strip off San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree. He has subsequently apologized for his unsportsmanlike antics, but it may be a case of too little too late.
Trash-talking on the field, court or ice has long been part of sports. It’s a means of trying to get an edge on your opponent. But once you’ve won, put it aside and show some class. Perhaps the NFL trash-talkers could take a lesson from women’s tennis.