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Like Tennis, Handshakes Change

Justin Lane/EPA

The post-match handshake is as much a part of tennis as the fuzzy balls and first serves.

Anyone who's seen the end of a match in this supposed gentlemen's game has seen it. Final point ends, both players approach the net, reach across, congratulate one another, then try to lift bags filled with rackets and other gear.

But something funny has happened to this polite gesture in the past decade.

The traditional handshake—the sort that presidents, diplomats, and business folk have used to seal deals and greet one another for centuries—has gone the way of the wood racket, replaced by the sort of hand-slapping thumb-grabbing gesture most often associated with street-corners and playground basketball courts. It might even be followed by a shoulder-bump, though more likely, a polite racket tap of the opponent's shoulder, as Juan Carlos Ferrero did...

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