It wasn't about tennis balls, it was all about bananas for Coco Vandeweghe, who entered the Australian Open as the US Women's contingent with a career-high ranking of nine. Vandeweghe is out of the Australian Open after losing to Timea Babos, but it is her bizarre banana bust-up that occurred before that loss that has folks talking today.
Vandeweghe started her day being hit with a violation for taking too long to return to the court. She had an argument for that, which is making headline news today. It seems that Vandeweghe was eating a banana and that is where her delay came in. She also claimed that the extra time she took to come back to the court was not by any fault of her own, as the bananas were late getting there.
According to The West Australian, "the combustible American crashed out at the first hurdle on Monday losing her temper and the first-round match to Hungarian Timea Babos 7-6 (7-4) 6-2." When the chair umpire Fergus Murphy addressed the time she spent getting back to the court she "railed" at him.
Murphy was not at all moved by her story and hit her with a "time-wasting" code violation. She said to Murphy, "I'm waiting for the bananas." Then she continued claiming the court was "ill-prepared" and then asking him, "Why should I feel uncomfortable because the court is ill-prepared?"
Babos, who won the match, said to reporters, "In women's tennis, anything can happen when there is no Serena Williams." With the enforced absence of Serena Williams, Vandeweghe was among the embarrassing 0-8 start to the Australian Open by the American women. It was a "horror start" for the American women at the Australian Open, reports The West Australian. This banana debacle is making headlines today with ESPN dubbing it a "banana blunder" for Vandeweghe.
Venus Williams, who is Serena's sister, was also among the American women casualties in the first round. Serena was not well enough to play the Australian Open and defend her title after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia in September. She withdrew her name from the Open just 12 days before the start.
The American women's loss along with the bizarre banana battle of words between the umpire and Vandeweghe are the memories pulled out of the 2018 Australian Open for the U.S. today. Instead of a win, there's a bust-up about the time it takes to eat a banana and the tardiness of those bananas getting to the court.