Italians do high emotion better than anyone. So, leave it to Sara Errani, the little bull dog from Bologna, to show us all how Tennis Hate should be done: with hand gestures.
She gets credit, in arguing chair umpire Richard Haigh's terrible overrule, for refraining from using a middle finger salute. It was a poor call by the ump at a critical time in the 16th seed's first round match against qualifier Yanina Wickmayer.
Thank goodness to SportsMagicianJJ on YouTube for capturing this. Otherwise, I wouldn't have understood what happened. My husband and I were watching this on a big video screen, sans audio, on the grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center. We had no idea what Sara's beef was, but we knew it was meaty.
It's 3-3 in the third, and Errani hits a second serve wide to Wickmayer's forehand. Yanina hits the return long, but the umpire rules Errani's serve out. Errani's challenge shows the ump got it wrong, way wrong, but he won't give the point to Errani, saying he has to give Yanina the benefit of the doubt, that she'd have gotten it in play had he not made the call. He tells her to replay the point.
What ensues is body language opera. The hunched shoulders. The little prayer hands in front of her nose. The delicate little circles she makes with her index finger and thumb. The flat hands -- "You agree with me?" -- as if shielding herself from his noxious reasoning.
"You're making not one mistake, you're making two mistakes, that's unbelievable!" she cries.
No, Sara. That's tennis.