Top Ten Tennis Tantrums

The up-close and personal competitiveness of tennis can prove too much for some, including a few of the game’s finest players. These ten players let their rage get the better of them in spectacular fashion.

Victor Hanescu Spits at Wimbledon Crowd

We can’t hear what the crowd was saying that riled up the Romanian tennis hero so badly, but whatever it was prompted the otherwise well-compoesd professional to spit at them, and then deliberately serve foot-fault serves twice in a row, effectively surrendering from the match.

John “The Mouth” McEnroe

Now one of the most famous lines in tennis history, here is John McEnroe’s “you cannot be SERIOUS” outburst. As always, the poor official gets it from McEnroe, who suggests that the ball must have been in because “the chalk flew up”. A rather creative bully, he calls the official the “pits of the world”.

Masochistic Mikhail Youchny

After losing the point, Mikhail Youchny had no one else to blame. Instead he vented his rage by bashing himself in the face with his racket until he began to bleed. I’m sure his opponent was more than a little threatened after his violent display.

Serena Williams Threatens Line Judge

Serena Williams may be one of the world’s best players but she certainly isn’t one of the most sportsmanlike (or sportswomanlike). After what she thought were two incorrect foot-fault calls, she launched into a verbal tirade against the lineperson, threatening to “shove the ****ing ball in [her] face”. Between this event and her notorious “crip-walk” celebration, Serena must be a scary opponent to face.

Jeff Tarango’s 1995 Wimbledon Incident

This can’t really be dubbed a unreasonable tantrum, because as it turns out, Jeff Tarango was absolutely right in calling the official corrupt and his call incorrect. The official ended his career in tennis shortly after the debacle, but not before Tarango’s wife had a chance to slap him in the face.

Jimmy Connors is a Wordsmith

Television broadcasters did a good job to remove the audio from most of the expletives Connors uses against the chair umpire in this tirade from the 1991 US Open. A “bum” and an “abortion” are some of the more unsavoury terms Connors uses while berating the poor official.

Ilie ‘Nasty’ Nastase

In one of his more amiable outbursts, Romanian tennis star Ilie Nastase politely asks the chair umpire to refer to him as “Mr. Nasatase” when addressing him, seeming rather nonchalant about the penalty against him. In nastier moments, Nastase had called umpires SOB’s and raised his middle finger to linespeople.

Boris Becker’s Outbursts

Boris Becker was perhaps as famous as McEnroe for his frequent emotional outbursts while on the court. Becker and McEnroe differ, however, in that Becker would never direct his anger at his opponent or the match officials, choosing rather to curse at himself or make indecipherable groaning and whining sounds.

Andy Murray the Sobbing Scot

This is not so much a tantrum as a meltdown. Andy Murray just couldn’t hide his disappointment and frustration at losing the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final in 2012 to Roger Federer. Although he lost the match, his tearful and heartfelt speech was definitely one of the most memorable moments of the night.

Xavier Malisse

The king of all cry-babies, Xavier Malisse sure knows how to shout. The strangest part of this tirade may be that he was actually winning this match against Spaniard David Ferrer when he contested the point. For this spectacular meltdown, Malisse was handed a four-week ban, fined $7705 and stripped of $13,290 in prize money. He also lost the match.