Tears & tantrums from teenage brigade
By Jonathan Overend
BBC Five Live tennis correspondent in Miami
It was a case of tears and tantrums on court number six at the Nasdaq-100 Open on Sunday.
Teenage prospect Nicole Vaidisova had her every move scrutinised by a gaggle of coaches and agents as she took another step towards inevitable superstardom.
This tall 15-year old from Prague fits the part perfectly.
It won't be difficult for the salivating IMG reps, who lined the back row of the small stand, to sell their product to the sponsors or the glossies.
She's already a tournament champion - she was just 15 years, 3 months, and 23 days when she won the Vancouver title last year - and a follow-up success in Tashkent confirmed her potential.
Although she's a fine player in her own right, a closer clone of Maria Sharapova you couldn't wish to find.
NICOLE VAIDISOVA (CZE)
Birthplace: Nurnberg, Germany
Date of birth: 23/4/89
Height: 5' 11"
World ranking: 53
WTA titles: 2
Career prize money: £75,325
Win/loss record: 44/12
From the blonde pony tail and silver earrings to the pained shrugging of the shoulders and constant mumbling, the similarities are quite scary.
Her match with Ana Ivanovic, another of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's hugely promising teenage brigade, was high-quality stuff.
Ivanovic, the 17 year old from Serbia, played the more consistent tennis - her forehand is exceedingly flat and piercing - and she deserved her straight-sets win.
But enough of the quality - feel the emotion.
Watching Vaidisova is a draining experience, with enough highs and lows to last an entire night in Miami's exuberant South Beach region.
She was ranting, shrieking (but not grunting) and then, after being broken for 6-5 in the second, came the sudden tears.
Her body was shaking and her face was buried in the towel.
When she rose from her chair, her face was cherry red, and the ballboy at the net - the only person face-to-face with her during the changeover - looked visibly shocked.
Tears in tennis have flown for years but to see them during a third-round match, in such an innocuous setting as Miami's Court Six, was quite perturbing.
The motto 'winning is all that matters' is drummed into most champions but, on this occasion, Vaidisova appeared petrified of losing.
After the match, she refused to shake the umpire's hand, annoyed at an incorrect line-call in the second set tie-break, and stomped off the court.
Three hours later she was off to the beach for a photo-shoot in advance of her 16th birthday in three weeks' time.
A fine player with an enormous future but, over a few hours, this was a vivid example of how modern day sport has become business, not pleasure.
Story from BBC SPORT:
Published: 2005/03/28 08:37:17 GMT
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