Huffpost UK Sport uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ania Poullain-Majchrzak Headshot

Polish Oddballs at Wimbledon

Posted: Updated:

The finest days for Polish tennis at Wimbledon games this year: after two Poles met in the quarterfinals, Jerzy Janowicz will face Andy Murray today and, in the ladies' semifinals, Agnieszka RadwaƄska lost to Sabine Lisicki - a German player, again of Polish descent.

Since 2004 three quarters of a million Polish people have been residing next to the Brits on this island without pushing themselves into the spotlight - until this event. Now, when the Poles are conquering English lawns, it might be a good time to point out few characteristics of this unusual elite and draw common traits for the whole contemporary Polish population. All three players might seem very different however at the same time they represent some stereotypes of Polish behaviour and mentality.

Starting with Janowicz, who went up 200 places in the rankings last year. The 6' 8" giant with the fastest serve in the tournament is not only known for bickering with the judges, but also for stunts like stealing headwear from a member of the audience during the match or trying to catch a pigeon during his serve. This time at Wimbledon he has already managed to describe the net-cord sensor as 'useless' and, when his opponent fans greeted him with loud 'Jawohl', Janowicz sarcastically congratulated the Austrian with the same response. Then, yesterday, he fell on the floor and cried after beating his fellow Pole Lukasz Kubot in the quarterfinals.

Not very popular in his own country, Janowicz represents an attitude common to some Slavic males 'me against the world'. He has a potential to even outdo Russian Marat Safin, who holds the record for most broken racquets in a year. Still, his completely unpredictable manner might explain his success on the court and while he is not really winning the sympathy of the audience, they do enjoy watching the court adventures of this wicked but emotional giant.

Lukasz Kubot, who came out worst in this all-Polish quarter finals battle, is the polar opposite of Janowicz. An enthusiastic doer, modest and happy - he is the Polish man that all Brits want to see fixing their bathrooms. Yet, he surprised everybody after his victory over Benoit Paire he performed a can-can routine - the wackiest Wimbledon express of joy so far.

And finally Radwanska. Quite plain at the first sight, but what a YouTube-Jesus campaign: after showing off her tennis skills in a skimpy outfit she creates a phrase out of the tennis balls on the court: 'I'm not ashamed of Jesus'. It takes more than tennis balls for stunt like this. It seems that all Polish Wimbledon semi and quarter finalists have some kind of oddity about them...

If a poor person behaves weirdly, they are a madman. A rich weirdo is an eccentric. After their Wimbledon success, all three Poles will classify to the second category.

An Eastern European eccentric is quite a refreshing concept altogether. I have an impression that most British oddballs are limited by their excellent manners, which makes them similar to each other and that denies concept of an eccentric itself.

In case of Jerzy Janowicz it might be too late for good manners, but let's hope that the Polish will bring some color to all-white Wimbledon.

The hot blooded and emotional tennis players prove the hypothesis that Polish are the Italians of the north. Maybe if the good luck continues soon they will be sponsored by Versace?