Whose 'Vamos' is it anyway?

In the heat of things
Last Updated 22 January 2011, 16:30 IST

The Indian Express accused Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco of ‘bodyline’ tactics by drilling serves directly at them in a fiery encounter.

“It was heat of the moment,” Bhupathi told reporters, playing down a potentially nasty confrontation as the players came to the net to shake hands after the match.

“It's hot out there, we're trying to beat each other. A few unnecessary things were said. We just got into each other.

“Tried to raise the atmosphere,” Bhupathi added after the third seeds had won their second round match 7-6, 6-4. “The crowd loved it.”
Bhupathi said the Spaniards got hot under the collar about the Indians constantly yelling

'Vamos!' (Come on! in Spanish) to fire themselves up.  “They really had no reason to be as upset as they were,” he said. “I don't think they have a patent on that word.” Paes was equally bemused by the verbal sparring, a rarity in tennis.

“The Melbourne sun kind of gets all of us a bit tired. We get stuck into it a little bit,” he shrugged.  Both Paes-Bhupathi insisted they were not guilty of ‘sledging’ -- a cricket term for trash-talking your opponent in an attempt to get under their skin.

“I've been using 'Vamos!' for about 16 or 17 years,” said Paes. “Whether it's 'Vamos!' or 'Allez!' we're Indian. Nobody has a patent.”  Bhupathi accused the Spaniards of deliberating trying to hurt Paes.

“There was one serve fired at Leander, unless he actually missed it by that much, which is possible,” he said. “I don't think he would have missed it by that much.

“They couldn't go through Leander, so they were trying to take him out.”  Paes promised to keep using his pigeon Spanish. “One hundred percent,” he smiled. “We don't mean anything bad by it. I love Spain. I love Spanish people. I love the language. I love the food.”

Lopez, meanwhile, blamed Paes for the unsavoury spat.  “He was trying to provoke us all the time,” he fumed. “We were a little tired of the style he was using on the court.”

Bhupathi suggested the Spanish players were being over-protective of their language, while Paes hyped up the sequel, noting: “Got another bunch of Spaniards in the next round!”

(Published 22 January 2011, 09:45 IST)

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