The Biggest Tennis Tantrums

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Tennis players can be a little emotional from time to time, leading to some epic blow ups when a player with impulse control issues decides to let everyone know EXACTLY how they feel at a given point in time.

Whether it involves the always popular racquet destruction, the verbal tirade or something a little bit unique to the individual, tennis has given us a ton of blow ups that have that real car crash appeal watching them unfold.

World number 1 Novak Djokovic let his frustrations get the better of him this morning, hitting the ball away in frustration.

Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t aiming anywhere in particular and his shot happened to find the throat of a lineswoman, resulting in the odds on tournament favourite defaulting on the match and being eliminated from the tournament.

Of course in the true nature of tennis, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tennis tantrums.

John McEnroe Through His Entire Career

John McEnroe won 71 singles titles throughout his illustrious career including seven Grand Slams, but the German-born American was undoubtedly most well-known for his mid-match blow ups.

McEnroe was fined $1500 and was nearly thrown out of the 1981 Wimbledon Men’s Draw for this famous scene from his first round match with Tom Gullikson, but instead went on to win a maiden title at the All England Club.

Serena Williams in the 2011 US Open Final (& Again in 2018)

Tennis tantrums have by no means been contained to only the Men’s game, and current World Number 1 Serena Williams produced one of the great outbursts in her US Open Grand Final tie with Australia’s Samantha Stosur in 2011.

Down a set, Williams blasted a forehand directly back at Stosur and could clearly be heard yelling “Come On!” before the Aussie had a chance to return the ball.

Having stripped Williams of the point, chair umpire Eva Asderaki copped a severe tongue-lashing from the 28th seed.

She then went back to the well in 2018 after being issued a code violation for allegedly receiving signals from her coaching box.

After being assessed a game penalty for calling the umpire a “thief” (who would have thought someone might take offence to that) she continued her tirade, overshadowing Naomi Osaka’s first Grand Slam triumph.

Andy Roddick in the 2008 Australian Open Third Round  

Andy Roddick was known as the game’s biggest server in his prime, but a short temper and an extreme level of sarcasm were also notable traits of the American.

Drawn against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round of the 2008 Australian Open, Roddick simply would not let chair umpire Emmanuel Joseph have the last word in a verbal tirade highlighted by the question “Do you have to be like a second-grade drop-out to be an umpire?”

Jared Donaldson

To say Donaldson was unimpressed with the umpires call would be an understatement. Donaldson demanded the umpire come down and check the mark on the clay court before going on to scream in his face.

He would go on to call for a supervisor to try and look further into the line call but was given a code violation and went on to lose the game to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets.

At the end of the match, Donaldson refused to shake hands with the umpire and was jeered by the crowd.

Marcos Baghdatis Keeps Tecnifibre Racquets in Business

A cult favourite, particularly in Australia, Marcos Baghdatis has drawn a capacity crowd to each of his matches at Melbourne Park since his unseeded run to the 2006 Men’s Final.

Having been criticized for his weight through the 2011 ATP calendar, the Cypriot arrived at the 2012 Australian Open refreshed and with high-hopes, but could not hide his emotions in one of the great tennis tantrums of all time during his second round loss to Stan Wawrinka.

David Nalbandian’s 2012 to Forget

David Nalbandian is a noted tantrum thrower – we could have put together a whole list just on his tantrums – and 2012 produced two of his best, starting at the Australian Open.

During his second round clash with the big-serving John Isner, the umpire overruled a line call in favour of Isner and Nalbandian waited too long to challenge.

Nalbandian failed to take the umpire’s decision lying down and the tournament director was called to the court before the Argentine would recommence the match.

He lost shortly afterwards.

It turns out he had not learned his lesson from that, with this entry later on in the year.

An ageing Nalbandian was impressive on his way to the final of the 2012 Aegean Championships at the Queen’s Club in England, but was disqualified following probably the biggest mind-snap ever to occur in a game of tennis.

Having clearly watched too many Wayne Rooney replays in the lead-up to his match with Marin Cilic, Nalbandian booted an advertising board after a loose shot which subsequently cut the leg of an official, drawing blood and ending his campaign.

Nick Kyrgios… Quite Often

Australia’s most enigmatic athlete was always going to appear on this list at some point and he’s provided plenty of fodder for this list.

Back at Wimbledon in 2015, twelve months after stunning Rafael Nadal to progress to the tournament’s quarterfinals, Nick Kyrgios steam-rolled Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in straight sets but was again embroiled in what some are calling his biggest tanti to date.

Believing his shot was hampered by a call made in play from a line umpire, Kyrgios threatened to sit in his chair until the supervisor came out and made a ruling, before appearing to be caught yelling out “Dirty Scum!”

His effort against Andreas Seppi at the 2017 Australian Open is one of the most notable.

After receiving a pair of code violations and almost hitting a ball-boy with his racquet, he managed to cap it all off by throwing away a two set to love lead!

Then in 2019 Kyrgios went to another level with this epic tirade in Cincinnati.

Kyrigos seemed to win the Australian sporting public over with this efforts during the Australian Open earlier this year and subsequent efforts on Twitter.

The Pressure Gets to Pablo Carreño Busta

No matter what happens for the rest of Pablo Carreño Busta’s career, he’ll now always be remembered for his actions at the 2019 Australian Open.

Carreño Busta was furious with umpire Tom Sweeny due to an overrulled “out” call, which resulted in a point to his opponent Kei Nishikori during a fifth-set tie-breaker.

When the call happened, Carreño Busta was up 8-6, but lost his cool and did not win another point.

At the end of the match, he completely lost it and that led to a tantrum that would give two-year-olds in the confectionery aisle at Coles a run for their money.

Grigor Dimitrov Goes Wreck-It Ralph

During his fourth round clash with Andy Murray at the 2015 Australian Open, a particular racquet was really giving Dimitrov trouble and the Bulgarian produced one of the greatest racquet smashes in tennis history before tearing his weapon apart with his bare hands.

Marat Safin: Not a Fan of Technology

The Australian Open was arguably Marat Safin’s best Grand Slam, but he was still at his fiery best at the event.

Safin was never a particularly big fan of the Hawk-Eye system and it really brought out Safin’s angry best during his third round clash with Andy Roddick at the 2007 Australian Open.

Viktor Troicki Does it Again

It wouldn’t be a Grand Slam event without an epic meltdown from Viktor Troicki!

Troicki would be right up there with the angriest men on the ATP Tour and he always seems to find a reason to verbally abuse the umpire.

One line call sent him over the edge during his clash with Paolo Lorenzi in the second round of the Australian Open in 2017.

We don’t know exactly what he was saying, but it did not sound overly pleasant.

Jerzy Janowicz Goes Big Early

It is rare to see a truly epic tantrum in the opening set of a Grand Slam clash, but that is exactly what happened when Jerzy Janowicz took on Somdev Devvarman in the second round of the 2013 Australian Open.

Janowicz looked on the verge of a full-blown nervous breakdown as he screamed ‘how many times’ and pleaded with the umpire for a fair go.

He lost the first two sets of the match, but was able to come from behind to record a memorable victory.

Bernard Tomic

The man needs no introduction to this particular topic, nor do we need to share a video mostly because there’s way too many.

Simply go on to YouTube, type in Bernard Tomic and enjoy hours of his unique brand of entertainment.

You want to feel sorry for him, but he makes it hard.

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