Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Does tennis have its own Gisele Bundchen?

If I had ever liked her I would be feeling kinda sorry for Gisele Bundchen right about now. But truth is that I have always found her insufferable so it’s hard for me to work up any pity. To be fair, her cussing out of those Giant fans was clearly provoked. I mean they were taunting her so who could blame her for firing back?
Problem was that instead of calling out the fans for the a--holes they were being, she chose the moment to attack her husband’s teammates instead. Bad move Chica. You’re not the one who has to return to that locker-room. You’re not the one whose teammates may defensively blame him for the failure.
Don’t get me wrong, I get the whole bit about a woman defending her man. But only a dolt like Tom Brady could end up with a woman whose attempts to help seem continually to do him more harm than good.
Take for example her recent heavily publicized imploration for us to pray for him. What the hell was that about? By asking us to pray for her husband, did Gisele not realize that she was sending said husband the meta-message that failure was such a distinct possibility that he would need divine intervention to prevent it? Who needs a spouse who either doesn’t have confidence in you, or who, upon sensing your unspoken insecurity, broadcasts it for everyone to see?
And what’s with the alleged hair plugs? Why can’t she just let the man go bald in peace? And what was that dotish dancing at the Brazil carnival? Is there no end to the public humiliation to which this man-child will be subjected by his insufferable wife? Is this the price of hooking up with a supposedly beautiful model? (I personally don’t see it – there are far more beautiful women walking down the streets of Sao Paolo on any given day). Will the real man in this relationship please stand up? I would laugh if it wasn’t all so very sad for him.
But this entry is not about him. It’s really about her. And my question of whether tennis has any spouses who, in their bid to protect their partner, end up doing him (or her) more harm than good.

The closest to a Gisele Bundchen I could think of was the wife of Greg Rusedski. Remember her? She could be as overbearing court-side as her husband could be uncouth on the court. They were often compared to the Henmans who in contrast evoked posh and breeding. But really, Rusedski was the more insufferable one in that relationship, with all of his fake-Brit pretensions.
And then there was Jeff Tarango’s bad-ass wife who once famously slapped umpire Bruno Rebeuh across the face. Tarango had stormed off the court after accusing the umpire of being corrupt. It became the slap heard around the world, a delicious scandal that momentarily rocked tennis. But Tarango’s career was not negatively affected by this because he was never really that good. And like all of those who aren’t that good, Tarango has turned out to be a terrific teacher. I always look forward to seeing his tennis tips on the Tennis Channel.
But neither of these women comes close to the arrogance and insufferability (that should be a word!) of a Gisele Bundchen. Really that woman is in a class by herself. Maybe Tom Brady doesn’t have the cojones to tell her to just stfu and let him sort out his career issues by himself. Her job is to console her spouse, not to broadcast his failings or attack his teammates. 
Come to think of it, in tennis we seem to save the 'insufferability' for those helicopter parents hovering obsessively over their children’s careers. Remember Alex Stevenson’s mother? Or Jelena Dokic’s father? On second thought, the 'insufferability' of some tennis parents deserves its own separate entry. Feel free to make suggestions.


Karen said...

They are not wives but girlfriends of players that I find insufferable. Mirka has been in Fed's camp for so long that she has her own fan following and yet the girlfriends of some of today's top players could take a page or two out of her book. Watching Jelena Ristic at this year's AO, just made me cringe. I have seen Nadal's GF and she is the model of decorum in the box, so too is Andy Murray's GF.

tennischick said...

Yeah Ristic is cringe-worthy. The way she screams support and then quickly checks to see if the camera caught her doing it. I hope Djoko doesn't lose his mind and marry this silly shallow woman. And I have to wonder if she got the breasts for herself or for him. lol

Anonymous said...


@Karen, tennischick:

There is a compatibility in the behaviour of Mirka and Roger, and the behaviour of Jelena and Novak.

BTW: Scoop Malinowski had a different take. http://www.tennis-prose.com/articles/scoop/jelena-ristic-youre-number-one/

happygeek said...

funny post! didn't know who on earth Giselle Whatever was (but the reader doesn't have to, to get it). anyhoo, Wikipedia concurs. it's written there that some feel their relationship is cursed (LOL!!) and they haven't won since they got together. again, entertaining post! :-D

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