Canada's Eugenie Bouchard may now find herself sharing a highlight reel with most of the greats of her sport – for something none of them are ever proud of.
After a frustrating second set in which she lost every service game in the semifinals of the Hobart International tennis tournament Friday, Bouchard walked off the court. And as she did, she let her racquet have it. Most tennis fans can tell you their favourite moments of pros smashing their equipment. For those who can't remember, there are highlight reels online with just about every star you can imagine: McEnroe (obviously), Djokovic, Federer, and Roddick among them. Serena Williams has absolutely murdered racquets.
Looking back on these incidents, very few players are proud of being a raging suck. Bouchard certainly wasn't.
"I definitely want to control my emotions a little bit better," she told reporters after the match.
As a parent of two small children, not a week goes by where I don't have to remind them that having a suck attack is inappropriate, and that despite how frustrated we might be, we have to try to remain calm.
But I have no problem with these occasional moments when pros let their racquets have it, as long as they get it out of their system quickly and then take responsibility for it afterward. Professional athletes put a huge amount of pressure on themselves, and letting off steam can help get their game back on track (Bouchard won the third set 6-4 to advance to the finals).
You can't compare that to a four-year-old losing his mind because his PB&J is cut the wrong way. If kids ever ask if they can smash their own equipment, tell them they can once they've put in thousands of gruelling hours dedicating their entire lives to a singular pursuit and have a sponsor that provides them with gear for free.
There is also a gender component at work here that makes me want to show my daughter one of the epic Serena videos or the footage of Bouchard losing her cool. I want her to see that female athletes, and by extension females in general, aren't these dainty objects there to give us a twirl, but passionate, driven and fully capable of raging out just as the boys so often do.
Don't you agree? Let me know @Dave_McGinn, #RaisingWell.