Some sidelights of the Aircel Chennai Open

Press conferences have increasingly become tedious affairs. The vapidity emerging from the frequency and context (or the lack of it rather) of such interactions has been felt by the media and those at the other end of the mike. And yet, there are characters — endearing or otherwise — who lend some verve to the hurried scribbles and uninspiring frames.

Real and unadulterated

Japanese qualifier Go Soeda, who presided over the upset of defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka at the Aircel Chennai Open this year, was full of beans at the post-match media briefing. He was happy and, thankfully, made no attempt to hide it; there was no manufactured “Yeah, it's always good to win” response. Heartening were the real, unadulterated gushes of joy.

The more loquacious guys in the tournament — champion Milos Raonic and runner-up Janko Tipsarevic — swear by the M.S. Dhoni school of elaborate answering (although not nearly as repetitive as the man from Jharkhand). Their expertise in articulation certainly came in handy during their passionate discourses on nationalism and identity. Political careers beckon?

Nightmarish

Mahesh Bhupathi's conferences can be nightmarish. One look at the notepad and realisation sinks in there isn't much content to cobble up a 250-300 word story. After all, how much can you extract out of “Yeah, we played well”, “Most definitely”, and “I don't know”, the replies provoked by equally inane questions.

Nicolas Almagro came up with one of the more hilarious quotes of the competition when he said, “If I play well, I will go ahead. Otherwise, I go to Auckland.” He was referring to his probable clash with Raonic in the semifinal. As it turned out, Almagro lost the match and he was asked what had gone wrong? “For me?” he quizzed back before coming up with a straight-faced “nothing”. Another query was met with an equally concise, matter-of-fact response. While the scribes fell silent in search of a poser, the Spaniard was happy that the interrogation had died down: “That's all?” he was quick to ask before trooping out instantly with a wide grin. Whoever said the characters had faded away?

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012