It's not always a quick, no-look handshake at net and a quick about-face when one loses a professional tennis match. Sometimes even the loser is quite good-humored about it, especially when that not-so-lucky loser is Milos Raonic.
Thursday in Indian Wells, after submitting to Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, Raonic shared this exchange at net:
That sounds, perhaps not entirely verbatim, a lot like this: "I'm hitting 145 [M.P.H. with my serves] and you're getting it? That's bullshit." And yet it was delivered with a hearty smile, as Raonic's vanquisher touched him on the torso at that. These two are chummy, and Dolgopolov's all-smiles response was priceless as well.
About that grin, Dolgopolov had this to say about his home nation after the match, when he sat in the Indian Wells plaza with Tennis Channel's Justin Gimelstob:
"These days life doesn't get good all the time," Dolgopolov says of Ukraine. Hopes he can "put some smiles on faces." #BNPPO14— Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9) March 13, 2014
Journalists—well, most journos anyway—don't openly root for players in the pro game. Even so, it's difficult for most all to not feel a tinge of pride at Dolgopolov's run to his first-ever semifinal in the California desert. He's not a mythological Atlas weighed down by the very globe, but he does inspire hope for a good many Ukrainians and youngsters worldwide who see that they, too, can pursue dreams. "Don't let your dreams be dreams," as the laidback surf-rocker Jack Johnson's adage goes.
That's something we can all get behind.
Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.