Why sports stars should be less sporting

Serena Williams’s coach has questioned the authenticity of tennis players hugging opponents in defeat. So let’s have a new rule: unless they can prove they’re friends, they should desist

“This brand new trend of systematically taking your opponent in your arms once you have beaten him in order to look like a nice guy is very annoying to me,” wrote Serena Williams’s tennis coach on Twitter. #authenticity. #nomorefakeness. If you, too, find Patrick Mouratoglou’s verbose, foot-stampy turn of phrase obscurely endearing, you may be willing to indulge the idea that tennis players’ post-match displays of affection can also be adjudicated. By him.

Mouratoglou went on to clarify that he was not attacking anyone in particular. “Sometimes it makes sense to do it,” he said, referencing Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, who, friends for many years, embraced fondly at the end of their quarter-final stand-off at the French Open on Tuesday, “but it starts to be systematic”.

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