An “unbelievable” tennis star baffled her match’s commentator and spectators at a pre-US Open tournament in Pennsylvania by refusing to warm up after play resumed following a temporary suspension due to heat on Wednesday.
Former world number nine CoCo Vandeweghe was taking on Georgian Ekaterine Gorgodze at the Koser Jewelers Tennis Challenge and putting in little effort during the second set of their encounter despite winning the first.
In admittedly hot conditions, she barely chased after balls and was seen grabbing her legs at times.
When Gorgodze took the second set, Vandeweghe made a call for a medical time-out with play halted shortly after due to the heat.
“Coco was just about to call it a day when they said they’ve got to shut it down because of heat reasons,” remarked a commentator over the tournament’s live stream.
Yet once the action resumed and the pair returned to the court, Vandeweghe’s lack of enthusiasm was still present as she refused to warm up.
Showing little interest in returning her foe’s practice shots, she hit light returns and relented to budge an inch for anything outside her immediate grasp.
At times switching to her weaker left hand, the commentator said: “This is unbelievable. Coco doesn’t want to warm up.”
“And she says: ‘If you’re going to make me do it then I’m not going to move, I’m not going to do anything,'” he added.
Vanderweghe can really be a piece of work. She’s been an awful competitor on multiple occasions. She should realize it is a privilege to be a professional athlete, she needs act like a professional.
— Julie Engbrecht (@JulieEngbrecht) August 12, 2021
“I’ve never seen this in my life. This is wild. She’s going to do just enough here just so she doesn’t get in trouble,” it was also said.
With play again suspended, this time due to rain, Gorgodze eventually won by walkover.
But her American victim has been widely criticized on the internet, and dubbed “petulant” while one onlooker commented that the behavior was “on-brand for this horror of a human being”.
One of the worst acts on the pro tour in the last decade. The lack of respect for her opponent is disgusting.
— Michael Ely (@boywearingvan) August 11, 2021
“Vanderweghe can really be a piece of work. She’s been an awful competitor on multiple occasions,” said another.
“She should realize it is a privilege to be a professional athlete, she needs act like a professional.”