'Get your own towels' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:00 AM, October 11, 2018

'Get your own towels'

Fernando Verdasco's treatment of a ball boy who failed to bring him his towel fast enough has thrust tennis players' attitudes towards the child volunteers into the spotlight, and could prompt changes.

The 34-year-old Spaniard has not commented on the incident, when he aggressively gesticulated at a ball boy to hurry up during last month's Shenzhen Open in China.

The footage went viral on social media and saw Verdasco heavily criticised.

Judy Murray, the former British Fed Cup captain and mother of three-time Grand Slam winner Andy, tweeted: "What about a rule that makes players get their own towels?"

Others, while condemning Verdasco's behaviour, pointed out that he is by no means the first tennis player to treat a ball kid harshly.

At this week's Shanghai Masters, Roger Federer said tennis sets the standard for many sports when it comes to respectful behaviour -- and that must extend to the treatment of ball boys and girls.

"The ball kids are really important to us because they are also maybe the future of our game, like I was," said the Swiss, a ball boy before going on to become a 20-time Grand Slam champion.

"You don't want to have them leaving with feeling, oh my God, I was not appreciated or I was not liked or it was a horrible thing."

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