Match: M Bartoli (FRA) vs K Flipkens (BEL), Center Court, 4th July 2013.
When Ms.Flipkens (thoroughly outplayed till that point – a break down in 2nd set having lost the 1st set) asked for treatment, Mr.McEnroe said, “I’ll start limping if I am playing that badly” or something to that effect. The co-commentators, which included Lindsey Davenport, had a hearty laugh.
Mr. McEnroe had observed correctly that Ms.Flipkens never used double handed backhand and always opted for backhand slice (which is not such a potent weapon). He failed to wonder whether her injury is preventing her from doing so. That’s fine, he is not expected to know everything. But, he chose to make the joke about her possibly faking injury. It has to be noted that Ms.Flipkens hit her first double handed backhand drive immediately after being treated. And Mr.McEnroe eventually talked about how she didn’t possess the game to work around her injury. So, it appears that he started to believe she was injured at some point.
Shouldn’t Mr.McEnroe be applauding Ms.Flipkens that she is not breaking racquets and swearing at everybody instead of cracking jokes? Will someone take him to task?