It’s little surprise that Fernando Verdasco snapped at a ballboy in China last week. Our job was fun, but we were also taught to soak up abuse.
During my three years as a ballboy at the Miami Open I learned that, like a waiter at a Michelin-starred restaurant, we should be invisible unless summoned.
The players’ rage and adrenaline often smother the court, so when Fernando Verdasco snapped at a ballboy on court at the Shenzhen Open last week for being a millisecond late to deliver his towel, I was not surprised. I doubt the boy at the end of Verdasco’s anger was either: the job’s core is to tend to the players and umpire. The best ballpeople tether themselves to the wave and ride, although they still deserve respect.