The off-season being longer starting this season, the players have time to make a little extra money by taking part in exhibition matches and events. Here is not the time to agree or disagree with it, but to have a little laugh at some funny moments that happened during two of them, both involving arguably the two best impersonators in men’s tennis: the now retired Andy Roddick and World n° 1 Novak Djokovic.
On Friday, Roddick was in Toronto taking part in an exhibition event and his match against North American n° 1 player, Milos Raonic, was by far the pièce de résistance of the evening.
As is his habit, Roddick entertained the crowd by his funny monologues and exchanges with the crowd (including several extremely funny ones with Habs defenseman P.K. Subban, who was sitting first row with some other stars from Toronto), joking around with his rival and, of course, by making several imitations of well-known players.
My two favourite imitations were that of Novak Djokovic:
which Roddick followed shortly afterwards by imitating John McEnroe, one of his classics:
If Milos was, at times, a little too serious, he got caught up in the game, especially when Roddick tried to kill the net:
He was also requested to do an impersonation of Andy Roddick, which he did with great success, even serving an ace when he did so. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a video for this one, but it was a very funny moment.
A true heir of Andre Agassi when it comes to entertaining a crowd, Andy Roddick will be missed on Tour, that much is for sure, but his talent as an entertainer is something that will be remembered a long time. Hopefully we will continue seeing him in those kinds of matches in the future, as he is a born performer.
Guga, meet… Guga
This Saturday, in Rio, it was Novak Djokovic’s turn to make everyone laugh, starting with his “victim”, Brazilian Hall-of-Famer Guga Kuerten. Donning a curly wig, putting up his shorts, he went on for a few minutes playing just like Guga, although, of course, with slight exaggerations which made Guga laugh quite a bit.
As for that one-handed backhand Nole did, it was, simply, epic!
Both Djokovic and Roddick are good examples of what exhibitions must be: fun and providing the crowd a great show, and not just with the tennis, although the shots they can make are often very spectacular.
Who has forgotten those rallies between Gaël Monfils and Marcos Baghdatis in Argentina, last year?
The essence of off-season exhibitions!