In Tennis, Hugging at the Net Is the New Handshake

Eighteen years later at the Australian Open, when Caroline Wozniacki beat Simona Halep to win her first main, their extended embrace regarded extra like two camp associates saying goodbye at the finish of the summer season than two top-flight athletes after a fierce battle. Same when Sloane Stephens defeated her shut pal Madison Keys to win the 2017 U.S. Open. As they waited for the trophy presentation, Stephens and Keys sat facet by facet, laughing.

So why has on-court hugging grow to be a factor? Has everybody on tour abruptly grow to be BFFs?

“You’re not going to do it with everyone,” stated Kevin Anderson, the 2017 runner-up at the U.S. Open. “But most guys know that we’re out there working as hard as we can. We’re all competitors, but we’re also friends.”

For Djokovic, hugging has grow to be a part of his psychological routine, the results of time with Pepe Imaz, a Spanish non secular guru who specialised in a method with meditation and extended hugs known as Amor y Paz (“Love and Peace”).

Allen Fox, a California-based sports activities psychologist who has recommended athletes for greater than 40 years, stated hugs now are “part and parcel of every athletic competition, no matter the sport.”

“Back in the day, athletes were trying to be classy, so they kept their emotions in check, shook hands at the end of a match and left the court,” he stated. “Men, particularly, had been taught to be robust, to not share their private struggles and to be quiet about their points. They had been educated to not be sappy on the market, to take a loss with a stiff higher lip.

“Now folks suppose nothing of hugging and crying after their matches.”

Even when post-match hugs aren’t warranted or wished, most gamers now go for a modified “bro-shake” — a bring-it-in handshake that turns right into a one-armed hug. It is usually accompanied by chest pats or again pats, particularly amongst the males.

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