With the decline of his buddy Andy Roddick, Edina native Mardy Fish is the top-ranked male American tennis player.
That means Fish could be something of an ambassador for the state and country, especially at a tournament called The United States Open.
Shame, then, that in his loss to France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fish chose to play the role of the "Ugly American."
An exchange between the two players during a changeover caught a testy Fish asking Tsonga, "Now who's talking about whose box making noise?"
That reference was to Tsonga's fans, whose cheering had begun to irritate the Minnesotan.
Tsonga's response is inaudible -- and, apparently, unintelligible, at least to Fish, who shoots back, "I don't speak French, you dumbass."
Well, pardon his French!
Then Tsonga says something else, also lost to the boom mics, and Fish reiterates, "I don't speak French."
Tsonga's intent becomes finally clear: "No," he says. "But I go, I go tell them." The Frenchman had apparently been volunteering to go quiet his fans, to keep things in line with the gentle nature of the sport.
Finally, after taking a sip from his drink, Tsonga takes his own shot.
"I don't like you, too," he says.
Oh, snap! It's not exactly Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe hitting winners and tossing zingers, but given the language barrier, this is pretty good stuff.
So, who's in the wrong here? Tsonga, for assuming a red-blooded American might speak another language, or Fish, for calling the guy attempting to apologize a "dumbass"?