Wimbledon 2011 Video: Juan Martin Del Potro's Humor Cruel or Playful?

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what to make of the above video.

Part of me looks at del Potro's "Here you go...Whoops!" and thinks, "Man, he's a real jerk." To toy with a ball boy in front of the thousands at the All England Club not to mention the millions watching on television is pretty embarrassing.

But if you consider the moment, maybe not. After all, del Potro was taking on defending champion and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon; that can't be very pleasant, so perhaps he felt like "Well, if I'm going to be embarrassed in front of all these people, I'll take this kid down with me."

And if you consider how often we criticize athletes for being too stern or too serious or too robotic, then del Potro playing around with this kid is a playful moment and introduced a bit of levity into an event that isn't nearly as serious as we all make it out to be.

Besides, it's not like he tripped the kid or shoved him down to the ground; he just toyed with him for about half a second.

As a side note, I think we have to look at the alternate possibility that this was just one of those awkward incidents that tend to spring up in human interaction. You know how sometimes you'll see a friend and you're not sure if the relationship calls for a handshake, a huge, a pound, a polite wave, a head nod or whatever and you were wrong? He or she expected the handshake, but you went in for the hug.

That could have been the case here. Del Potro was going to just hand the ball to the kid, but then thought he was looking for him to bounce it to him off the racket.

No matter what the circumstances, I don't get why the crowd broke into such an uproarious bout of laughter followed by applause. Nothing about this was "funny."

If the ball boy had run smack dab into del Potro and knocked him to the ground...Now that would have been funny (skip ahead to 3:55 mark).

Load More Stories

Out of Bounds

Tennis

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.