Indian duo's use of “vamos” riles Spain
MELBOURNE: Indian doubles stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes Saturday shrugged off a furious on-court row after officials were forced to intervene to calm their seething opponents.
Bhupathi said the ugly row, which brought play to a halt on Court 2 as the players argued at the net, was “good for the game”, adding that the “crowd loved it”.
Losing pair Juan Monaco and Feliciano Lopez were apparently so incensed over the Indians’ use of the Spanish word “vamos” that they started serving straight at them and refused to shake both players’ hands after the match.
“It was good for the game, I think. I mean, heat of the moment,” Bhupathi said.
“It’s hot out there, we’re trying to beat each other. A few unnecessary things were said. We just got into each other…Tried to raise the atmosphere. ”
“The crowd loved it. We got into it. Like you (journalist) said, interesting day for everyone.”
The two teams clashed during and after the match, which the Indians won 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, forcing the chair umpire and match supervisor to step in.
“One of the players, he was trying to provoke us all the time. At one point, we were a little bit tired of the style he was using on the court,” Lopez said afterwards, referring to Paes.
But an unrepentant Bhupathi said the pair often used “vamos” (“let’s go”) on court. Paes said he had been doing so for “16 or 17 years”, although he admitted it had provoked a similar reaction before.
“They were probably not happy that we used the word vamos,” Bhupathi said.
“I don’t think they have a patent on that one. If these guys are going to get upset, I’m going to continue to use it.”
Paes said there was nothing sinister in the comment and he would “100 percent” continue to use it, adding they were playing “another bunch of Spaniards” Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo — in the next round.
“I love Spain, I love Spanish people, I love the language, I love the food.It’s not something I do to get against them,” he said.
However, Bhupathi admitted the pair often used aggressive tactics. The volatile duo are back together this year for the first Grand Slam since 2002,with the last of their three major titles coming at the 2001 French Open.
“We always do play a very aggressive style of doubles, that’s what’s given us all our good results,” he said.
“They, being two singles players, they’ve probably never seen it before. They probably were taken aback a little bit.”