"Vamos!" shouted the Indian doubles player. His Spanish-speaking opponents were clearly not amused. Tennis etiquette was put aside during a heated doubles match between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and Spain's Feliciano Lopez, who was playing with Juan Monaco of Argentina.
The No. 3-seeded Indian pair won the second-round match 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Match officials stepped in to calm the players after the match, when the two teams approached the net, arguing and angrily gesticulating. The losing team then snubbed the Indians by not shaking both their hands. Lopez later told reporters that Paes 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, and that's all that happened," Lopez said. Lopez did not specify which point, but the Indians say he intentionally hit a serve aimed at Paes, who jumped out of the way to avoid being hit.
"There was one serve fired at Leander," Bhupathi said. "We're all professionals, I don't think he would have missed (the service box) by that much."
Bhupathi blamed the tension on their opponents' "not being in a happy place" because they were losing. And because it was a hot summer day. "It's hot out there, we're trying to beat each other. A few unnecessary things were said," Bhupathi added, smiling. "The crowd loved it. We got into it."
"They probably were not happy that we used the word 'Vamos'," Bhupathi conceded. 'Vamos!' - the Spanish expression for 'Let's Go!' - is commonly used by Spanish-speaking players and their fans. "It's just one of the words I like to use," Paes said.