Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sore Losers

Li Na (right) puts on a brave face at the awards ceremony
The Chinese were really excited to see their compatriot Li Na become the first Asian to make it to the finals of the Australian Open, a Grand Slam tournament (Michael Chang is considered American).

They were so excited that they were in the stands not only showing their support for her, but also telling her what to do.

Apart from shouting out "jia you" which literally means "add oil", or keep going, some fans told Li to "Finish her [Kim Clijsters] off" while they were playing, or taking flash pictures of the action down in centre court.

Li complained to the chair umpire, asking her to intervene. "Can you tell the Chinese, don't teach me how to play tennis?"

The umpire did so twice -- but to no avail.

Li's frustrations led to her losing the match, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Chinese tennis fans really need to understand etiquette when it comes to watching a match live -- it's not a football game where you can shout anytime you want.

At the press conference, Li said, "There were a lot of people coaching me. It was really loud."

And now the fans are hitting back, claiming Li is being a snob.

"While being a Chinese, Li asked a foreigner [chair umpire Allison Lang] to demand the Chinese spectators stop shouting, making her just like an outsider," wrote one person on a microblog.

Obviously this person doesn't know the procedure in tennis -- players are supposed to ask the umpire to ask for quiet. She was following the rules, not the loud Chinese spectators.

The Southern Metropolis Daily even wrote a commentary saying Li's request represented her fragile state of mind where she could not control her temper, and that this had a bad impact on China's international image.

Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociology professor at Renmin University of China explained that a nationalist mindset was to blame.

"Chinese spectators have always attached the result of a sports game to the national image," Zhou said.

Obviously the chance to play in the finals is nerve-wracking enough -- it was already expected Clijsters would win -- so why put more pressure on Li and let her enjoy her moment?

Instead the Chinese fans distracted her and created a bad image of being sore losers.

1 comment:

  1. typical chinese lack of etiquette everywhere -not just on the tennis court. when you go to a banquet, every body keeps talking disregarding what the emcee announces. they are a shame and show of disrespect. oh the ugly chinese.