By Miles Evans
PARIS (Reuters) - Robby Ginepri lifted spirits at the French Open on Monday with a display of showmanship rarely seen in the game these days, but it may have cost him a place in the quarter-finals of the claycourt slam.
The 27-year-old American was left sprawling with his face in the red Parisian dust after stretching for a deft Novak Djokovic passing shot with the fourth-round match tightly poised in the second game of the third set on Court Philippe Chatrier.
To cover his embarrassment, the American performed a series of impromptu push-ups before retreating to his chair to dust himself off and try to regain his composure for the next point.
The crowd loved it, but Ginepri, who had matched the Serbian third seed shot for shot in the opening two sets, was immediately broken and never regained his momentum.
He only won three more games in the match and it is a stunt he will not be trying again.
"I felt a little stupid slipping and falling on my face, so tried to get the crowd back to my side," said Ginepri, who had just won his first set in five career meetings against Djokovic.
"You know, maybe that took a little bit of my focus away doing that. I'll probably never do push-ups again on court."
Did it change the momentum of the game?
"A little bit. It's hard to say. You never know. It's one of those things that might work for you, but today it didn't.
"If I win the next point and hold that game, then it looks great. But I think I won three games after that, so it's a no no.
Will he do it again?
"Not on court. If you come to the gym, I'll do some there for you."
(Editing by Martyn Herman)