Tennis Birthdays – Nov. 21, 2015

Only one familiar name celebrates his birthday today. And given his life story, that’s probably ironic.

Wayne Odesnik (USA), 30

It would be a tad dramatic to call the South-African born the pariah of the ATP Tour during his career, after his experience getting caught with vials of HGH in his luggage on a trip to Australia, a subsequent suspension (two years) and a reduced penalty (50 per cent off)  for his “cooperation.”

But while the extent and variety of that cooperation was never revealed, that didn’t stop some of his fellow players from calling him a “snitch“. And that’s probably the “don’t go too far” public version of what they thought.

All of that might have eventually calmed down. And give credit to Odesnik for attempting to rebuild his career upon his return. But in the end, he left in ignominy, officially announcing his retirement in March, 2015 after testing positive for three different banned substances in December, 2014. The US Anti-Doping Association banned him for 15 years.

Odesnik, as many have, blamed the positive test on a contaminated supplement, and vowed to have it tested at his own expense and was “considering his legal options.” Haven’t heard from him since.

Andy Murray won’t miss him.

 

 

Contrary to public perception, the guy wasn’t completely alone, all the time. He didn’t have trouble finding people to practice with (here he is with Horacio Zeballos of Argentina at the US Open last year).

Zeballos-Odesnik-USOpen_new

And here he is hanging with Thanassi Kokkinakis at Indian Wells.

Odesik-Kokkinakis_new

Open Court actually has some sympathy for the guy. I mean, how it is possible to be this clueless? It wasn’t as though, no matter how many supplements or doses of HGH he took, he was ever going to be a top-shelf player. He just wasn’t at that talent level.

You wonder what a fellow like this, given his history, is going to do with the rest of his life. He’s still a young guy.

Maybe he can coach; a far more obscure player, Serbia’s David Davic, received a lifetime ban for match-fixing but, with the help of some “substantial assistance” to the Tennis Integrity Unit, will be allowed to coach as of next March.

 

Shares 0