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Sportrait: Zack Fleishman


Fleishman_1American Zack Fleishman paraded some patriotic plumage at the Australian Open, dying his hair red, white, and blue. The stunt reportedly didn't fly well with locals who were there to cheer on his Australian opponent Wayne Arthurs.

They mocked him for wearing French colors, said he looked like a "malodorous mammal", and one columnist went so far as labeling him a California "fruitcake" - hmm).

Said Fleishman: "I fully expected it. No hard feelings. It's kind of a ridiculous thing to do, and it's probably never been seen before. There were little jabs here and there. I have a history of doing it. I did it a lot in the juniors playing in big tournaments for the Sunshine Cup, which is like the junior Davis Cup. I feel like it spices it up a little bit. I like to have fun on the court as much as possible. I feel like tennis is too much all-white clothing. The crowd get to put on the wigs and yell, do that kind of stuff. So I figure the players can have fun every once in a while as well."

Fleishman lost to Arthurs, who at 35 is the oldest active player on the ATP Tour.

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  1. tho definitely a tacky look to sport... those are also the australian colors.
    regardless, these aren't the days to travel anywhere blaring uncle sam.

    Posted by: A.J. | Jan 18, 2007 3:07:09 PM

  2. Andy, I'm not sure if I'm over-reading your 'hmmm', but the term 'fruitcake' has no homophobic overtones in Australian vocabulary (which is odd, because so much of it does!). Fruitcake just means crazy, as it does in the UK.

    Hang on, it means the same thing in the US doesn't it? I think I did over-read your 'hmmm', but I've typed now.

    Posted by: Ren B. | Jan 18, 2007 3:25:27 PM

  3. I hate dumb hair on guys. It's NEVER stylish or cool to make yourself look like a rooster.

    Posted by: Barnie | Jan 18, 2007 4:11:05 PM

  4. Ren - yeah, I think you overread my hmm, although the malodorous mammals and the Californians might have something to be pissed about.

    Posted by: andy | Jan 18, 2007 4:40:30 PM

  5. Andy - agreed, it's a bit of a strong reaction for what is, after all, a bit of hair dye.

    Posted by: Ren B. | Jan 18, 2007 4:45:49 PM

  6. It *is* rather funny how Yanks seem to think they own the colours blue white and red.

    Posted by: ohnoes | Jan 18, 2007 7:56:21 PM

  7. Perhaps sadly, Displays of American "patriotism" are just seen as pain-in-the-arse Nationalism these days outside of America. We've all seen where this Hand On Heart, Stars and Stripes forever carry-on has led you (and by extension us) and we are now heartily sick of it.

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 18, 2007 8:30:05 PM

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