As he won the Valencia Open, British tennis superstar Andy Murray got a rather rude response from his opponent during the hand shake. The exhausted finalist Tommy Robredo of Spain showed Murray both middle fingers instead of shaking hands. However, there is a lot more to this story that what it seems on paper. The championship match, which lasted for well over three hours, was officially the longest match on the ATP tour (outside of the Grand Slams.) Backed by a packed arena full of Spanish fans, Robredo got off to a great start and won the first set 6-3.
However, Murray came back to win the second second in a tiebreak to set up a dramatic final set. Robredo could not convert five championship points and ultimately fell to the Brit 10-8 in the deciding tiebreak. Such a disappointing result was an insult to the Spaniard considering recent results.
Just several weeks ago in China, Murray beat Robredo at the Shenzhen final. In that final, Robredo also failed to convert five match points to claim the title. It seems that the Spaniard was hit with Deja Vu once again at the Valencia Open. Flipping the bird at the net was a compulsive reaction to mounting frustration of failing to beat Murray in two championship matches within a single month. However, it’s worth to point out that Robredo had a smile on his face as he showed the middle fingers to Murray, indicating a playful and innocuous gesture rather than an aggressive move.
I know that Gianfrancesco Genoso and I got a huge kick out of it watching the coverage live. Although the Tennis Channel probably wasn’t too happy.