Man, you make your first Slam final and scandal follows you wherever you go.
So here's the deal: As we all know, Boots retired from her first round match against Luxembourgian Lucky Loser Andrea Kremer while up 75 50 due to a leg injury. Kinda odd, but no one thought too much of it until the online gambling sites reported rather large payouts. The interwebs lit up with reports that during the a coaching timeout Papa Boots told Baby Boots, in Polish, to play a few more games and then retire to let the hometown girl have a thrill. Boots & Co. knew her leg was bad and she wouldn't be able to play her next match, especially in light of Doha next week. Said Baby Boots:
I could possibly have finished the match, but felt there was no way I could get ready for the second round on Thursday, so I chose the sporting way and let her go through. She's also [playing] at home.
Obviously this has caused quite the buzz and the WTA has launched an inquiry to review the tape to determine whether something untoward (read: match-fixing) was going on. I doubt that this was the case and Papa Boots was just looking out for his kid, but the whole incident definitely raises a lot of questions:
- This was an obvious tank job by Boots. But I've always been irrationally pissed at injured players who gut out wins only to withdraw before the next match. So should I really be all judgey about this? Was this sportsmanship or not?
- The WTA has authorized coaching timeouts with the idea that the mic'd conversations provide additional entertainment to fans. Ok. But that presumes that the conversations are honest and unfiltered (see Mike Joyce, Mr. Krajan). But what happens when those honest and "entertaining" conversations affect betting patterns, which obviously happened here. If coaches can't be honest then what's the point of on-court coaching? And if coaches are honest, you can't be all outraged if it raises concerns over match-fixing.
- WHY THE FUCK WAS CARO PLAYING IN THE FIRST PLACE??? She's struggled with injury/illness since the USO and she's already qualified for Doha. She should have never made the trip to Luxembourg.
- How the hell does Andrea Kremer feel? I'm guessing she could care less *why* she's into the second round.
Much ado about nothing? Perhaps. But I knew the WTA wasn't going to let the ATP monopolize the tennis scandal pages this week. There's always something...