Tennis

Paul Kimmage Blasts The 'Sycophants' Contributing To Tennis' Problems

Paul Kimmage Blasts The 'Sycophants' Contributing To Tennis' Problems

It was an incredible Australian Open final on Sunday between Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer. The duo played out a truly memorable match as Federer prevailed to claim his eighteenth Grand Slam.

Paul Kimmage, however, isn't completely sold.

Listening to Kimmage talk about sport is always riveting, if not entirely positive. Kimmage didn't become the journalist he is by being a fawning adorer of all things sport. If he sees holes - and he frequently does - he'll highlight them.

Kimmage was on The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Monday night and had his lasers focussed on tennis. More specifically, on what he sees is a lack of proper questioning by journalists of the sport's top athletes. Kimmage's ire centred on the following exchange between a reporter and Serena Williams at the Australian Open:

 

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Kimmage wasn't happy.

'Do you want to apologize?' 'Yes I do.' Sweet Jesus.

Is it any wonder that these tennis players treat reporters with complete contempt, when they put up with that sort of nonsense?

Maybe she's right, maybe she didn't play that badly and the guy has read it all wrong.

That's not the point. It's a complete disregard for a reporter doing his job. And she has previous in this. She does it all the time.

Kimmage then referred to a French TV channel's questioning of Williams about her presence on the leaked Fancy Bears list of athletes who had used Therapeutic Use Exemption certificates. She walked out of the interview, saying: "I'm sorry, I'm not answering that."

She goes to the Australian Open, there's three of them there who have been outed for using TUEs. Her sister (Venus), Serena and Nadal. Not one question to any of them about the Fancy Bears leak, the problems in tennis, why are we using these TUEs. Not any of the same level of scrutiny you get asked of the cyclists and people like Bradley Wiggins.

Kimmage said he was rooting "big-time" for Federer in the final, saying he was "pleased" the Swiss won, but said there were "still valid questions to be asked of him".

And I've asked them. I've been with Federer and asked him these questions.

When 'Open' came out (Andre Agassi's book revealing his use of crystal meth during his career), I had scheduled an interview with Roger Federer...

(Kimmage asked Federer) 'Would you not be interested in something like that...would you not read the book?'

And he said, 'I would listen to Agassi if he was sitting here in front of me, but I wouldn't bother reading about it.'

That was really curious to me that he wouldn't want to read about something like that. But what was more interesting was that he was so uncomfortable that this had been raised and he had a reporter sitting in front of him asking these questions that he never gets asked.

Now, he's a lot better since. In December 2015 he did a press conference at the ATP finals in London and he was making the point, 'I win a tournament, I walk off a court and it's like: 'Where's the doping guy (official)?'

But again, my chief beef with this is with reporters and the sycophants that cover that sport and who do it no service in the way that they cover it.

Listen to the full programme of The Last Word here.

SEE ALSO: The Five Greatest Matches From The Federer-Nadal Rivalry

Conall Cahill

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