During his first-round loss yesterday, Stefanos Tsitsipas took issue with some of the chair umpire’s rulings. In protesting his treatment, Tsitsipas spat, “You have something against me, I don’t know what — because you’re French, probably, and you’re all weirdos. You’re all weirdos!”
What a weird thing to say. As far as insults go, “weirdo” is just laughable. It’s like being called a poopy-head by a five-year-old.
Perhaps it’s the very weirdness of the insult that got me wondering: Are the French weirdos? Let’s get scientific about this and look at the top four French players.
On the men’s side, the highest ranked player is Gael Monfils. I guess you could say he’s kind of weird, but in the best possible way. His infectious enthusiasm and interactions with the fans make him a crowd-pleaser wherever he plays. Verdict: Weird (but we love him).
The second-ranked Frenchman is Benoit Paire. Paire, along with Richard Gasquet, were featured in our fashion face-off on French men dying their hair blond. Paire has since returned to his natural color but still sports a massive hipster beard. Seriously, you could hide an entire crepe in that thing. I probably shouldn’t shallowly judge people based on just their hair, but since I don’t know Paire personally, shallow is all I’ve got. Verdict: Weird.
On the women’s side, Caroline Garcia is the highest ranked French player. After each win, Garcia extends her arms horizontally and zooms around the court like an airplane. Verdict: Weird.
Garcia’s former doubles partner, Kiki Mladenovic, is the next-highest ranked French woman. Mladenovic routinely earns a place in our best-dressed polls, dates the dishy Dominic Thiem, and never pretends to be a plane or any other form of transportation. Verdict: Normal.
Based on this statistically valid sample size, we can comfortably conclude that, in fact, 75% of French people are weird.
This seems like an unusually high percentage of weirdos for a given population. For perspective, I asked my tennis partner and my sister-in-law, both French, why so many of their compatriots are weird. My tennis partner denied any disproportionate weirdness and pointed to other countries as being the real loons. My sister-in-law had no answer, either. “Perhaps we eat too much stinky cheese,” she suggested.
Clearly it’s a subject that requires further study. A trip to Paris may be in order.
Meanwhile, Serena is down a set to American teen Caty McNally. This kid can play!