“Good win today vs. Kendrick. Always tough playing a friend. Won’t have that problem tomorrow…’’
That’s what Amer Delic wrote on Twitter last week from the Savannah Challenger. His next opponent, the one he wouldn’t feel bad about beating? Wayne Odesnik.
Yes, the same Odesnik who lost to Sam Querrey last year, with Querrey saying later there was no way he was going to lose to “that guy.’’
And it’s the same Odesnik who beat Delic in Savannah, then played Ryan Harrison and got into an argument with him. “First of all, no one trusts you,’’ Harrison said during the match, according to the Savannah Morning-News. Sports Illustrated said people sitting near the court heard Harrison call Odesnik “a weasel’’ and “an embarrassment to American tennis.’’
Also, Odesnik won the tournament.
Look, Wayne Odesnik is a snitch. We already know that. He was busted for bringing HGH into Australia. Then, just under a year away from the tour, his suspension was suspended because he was being helpful in efforts to combat drugs in the sport.
Nobody likes a snitch, and it was clear from the start that he was never going to be popular, or trusted, in the locker room again. But here’s the thing: Odesnik is working his way back up the rankings. Soon enough, he’ll be back on the big tour.
And the players are going to have to deal with it.
“This is the first Challenger event I’ve won,’’ Odesnik told reporters after beating Young 6-4, 6-4. “It feels good to be playing at a high level again.’’
Odesnik climbed 127 spots in the rankings to No. 250.
So far, the other players are coming off like petty children. Of course, Odesnik is the tattletale. I don’t blame players for not liking him.
He made the sport look bad, made U.S. tennis look bad, and then, rather than paying his price, he cut a deal that sells players out. That’s how they’ll see it anyway. Theoretically, it only sells out the cheaters.
If players are clean, then what do they have to worry about? It’s a fair question, but honestly even if you’re clean, do you want to be around a snitch?
Have you ever worked with a person who was always feeding info to management? I have. A casual gripe to a co-worker about the boss? If Snitch-Man turned out to be around, then I knew the gripe would be getting back to me.
I never knew how he could live with himself. But in Odesnik’s case, he is trying to make a living, not just kiss up. Not to show sympathy – he did have the HGH, and did save himself on the backs of others – but the other players aren’t handling this with any maturity.
So Harrison, in a public setting where paying customers can hear him, is calling Odesnik a weasel? How unprofessional.
Delic sprained his ankle during his match against Odesnik, but played on until he was one game from losing. He told SI’s Jon Wertheim, “If it was any other guy, I would have pulled out right away. Instead, I had it taped and kept the match going as long as I could, just so he doesn’t have it easy in the second match.’’
OK, but quitting when you are one game from losing is pretty low-class.
As for Querrey, with all the lack of motivation he shows, why does it take Odesnik to motivate him? Sam, How about not wanting to lose to “that guy’’ no matter who your opponent is?
I guess I just can’t understand why these guys are letting Odesnik get to them. I’ll be honest: I would have a problem dealing with him, too. But I would handle it better than these guys have.
Well, he’s going to be in the locker room soon enough, probably by the end of this year. Maybe he actually does some good and helps get rid of some steroid cheats, keeping the playing field even for everyone. Then, some of these players can come to him and offer their true heartfelt gratitude in private: