Authored by Gritty
So I wasn’t going to write about this but here we are. I had intended to include something about Irina Tereschenko’s singles retirement from Nationals in our takeaways as we did dedicate a section to her. We had a couple of people message us privately wondering why we didn’t bring up Irina’s singles retirement. Amidst all the Zane writing, I simply forgot.
If you’re not aware of what happened, Irina was playing Jillian Braverman in the bronze medal match in singles. Irina was down a game and 9-7 when she called a ball out on the far sideline that was overturned by the referee to make the score 10-7 for Braverman. Tereschenko then simply walks to the net and retires from the match. Game over. Braverman to the gold medal match. Here is the video from the live camera with no sound:
There was some other stuff that went on throughout the match that may have culminated in the premature retirement. Apparently, Tereschenko attempted to get a rain delay in game one when she was down 2-9. The rain became more of an issue after game 1 with Braverman using a towel to clean the lines herself. There was also a “fall and stretch routine” as described by Glenn Lucey in game 1 from Braverman.
The reason why I decided to write about this so long after the fact is because of the Freestyle Boys super blasé reaction to this situation on their latest podcast (24:53 time stamp for reference). After they described the incident, Ben responded, maybe somewhat in jest, with “I like it. Good stuff Irina…I respect that” and then they proceeded to joke that the match doesn’t count as a rated match on DUPR because it was a retirement.
Ben’s reaction shouldn’t have pissed me off, but it did. It even bothers me listening to the podcast again while I’m writing this. I know he’s good friends with Irina and they all played on the same MLP team together. However, this was downright unprofessional and juvenile of Irina. I’m not asking that they go after her but at least don’t encourage it even if it was jokingly. Not to mention how wild it is from a competitive standpoint to quit at the end of a very close match to go to gold because you’re upset at a line call.
I know all of this shouldn’t bother me but basically laugh off what Irina did as if there’s nothing wrong with it, I’m at a loss. This isn’t acceptable behavior.
Irina’s brand as the funny, goofy pro player is a brand that is really wearing thin on me. Outside of Matt Wright, I’d be curious if the pros see anyone else out there who tries to work the referees as much as Irina does. However, the everything streamed, mic’d up world that is pickleball now is not being as kind to her persona these days.
I expect better of any competitor in Irina’s shoes and her dealing with the situation about as well as a teenager leaving an online FIFA game mid-match should not go unnoticed.
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