I have many pet peeves with tennis crowds (I probably should do a full post on that at some point) but up there at the very top is booing a player who is forced to retire because of an injury.
I understand the crowd is upset that they shelled out money for semifinal tickets and did not get to watch a full match. Trust me, I completely get the disappointment. If I had paid through the nose to watch Djokovic and Tsonga and one of them retired, I would need more than a few beers as compensation.
But you have to understand when you buy your tickets that, excuse my French, shit happens. This is a very physical sport; people get hurt all the time. Just because you paid to see a full match does not mean that a full match will be played. That is the risk you take when you watch tennis live. It does not happen all the time, but retirements can (and will) happen.
So to make a player who already feels horrible about not being able to compete (because they are in physical pain) feel even worse by booing them is just absolutely unacceptable. You think you are disappointed? Magnify that by 100 and you still will not be even close to how the player feels. They train and prepare all year for huge matches like a Masters semifinal. The level of devastation that Tsonga must have felt at not being able to play just does not compare to yours.
So next time you are at a match and an injured player retires, instead of booing, how about you give him or her a standing ovation? Show your appreciation and support to them for laying it all on the line. Lift them up when they are at one of their lowest moments. I mean, you are a tennis fan, right?
(Video via Slovakia2010)