Anorak News | When tennis stars go mad: Nalbandian, McEnroe, Williams and even Timmy Henman explode

When tennis stars go mad: Nalbandian, McEnroe, Williams and even Timmy Henman explode

by | 18th, June 2012

WHEN tennis stars go mad:

David Nalbandian’s assault on a hapless hoarding at the Queen’s club was itself sufficient to warrant a stern rebuke and possibly even disciplinary action. But the unfortunate collateral damage – a nasty shin injury to the line judge who was seated immediately behind the advertising board – has catapulted the angry Argentinian into the lawn tennis hall of shame, and earned him worldwide notoriety.

He is not the first raquet-botherer to earn a reputation for feistiness, however. Ilie Nastasie was dubbed ‘Nasty’ in the early 1970s, only for Jimmy Connors to emerge as number one tennis brat a few years later. Yet both were soon welcomed into the bosom of the establishment when they were wept away by the first true Titan of the tennis tantrum: the great John McEnroe – now, of course, himself a venerable elder statesman of the game.

Stockholm 1984: John McEnroe

McEnroe’s temper was already legendary. His famous Wimbledon outburst in 1981 (‘You cannot be serious!’) had even inspired a tribute song…

By the mid-eighties he was the undisputed master of umpire and racquet abuse. This prime example led to his exceeding the maximum fine limit and earned him a 21-day ban…

Wimbledon 1995: Tim Henman

Tiger Tim, despite his nickname, is not the first person who springs to mind when one thinks of angry sportsmen. Which makes his behaviour during this doubles match all the more shocking. His antics ensured that he and his partner Jeremy Bates become the first players to be disqualified from a tournament in the open era. Tim later atoned for his aberration, apologising publicly to the ball girl and presenting her with a bunch of flowers.

See it here

Tim’s opponents, Henrik Holm and Jeff Tarango, were awarded the match, but Tarango was himself in trouble during the same All England Championships…

Wimbledon, 1995: Jeff Tarango

During a singles match, Tarango became increasingly annoyed with the umpire, Bruno Rebeuch. The insufferably smug Wimbledon crowd grumbled, whereupon Terango told them to ‘shut up’. When the umpire cited him, he walked off – and that wasn’t the end of the matter. Tarango’s wife then slapped Rebuch in the face. Twice. ‘If Jeff had done it,’ she said afterwards, ’he would have been put out of tennis.’

Miami, 2008: Mikhail Youzhny

Youzhny’s moment of madness was unique in that he assaulted himself rather than an official. After losing a lengthy rally by putting the ball in the net, the Russian smashed his raquet into his own head. Blood poured from the self-inflicted wound, prompting the match commentator to liken him to Vincent van Gough

2009 US Open: Serena Williams

Women’s tennis is not immune to court rage, and Serena has form in this regard. During this verbal assault on a line judge, she screamed: ‘If I could, I would take this ******* ball and shove it down your ******* throat”. The tournament referee docked a point, which, as the game was at match-point, meant that Williams had managed – in the non-Youzhnyan sense – to knock herself out.

And just in case you are wondering exactly how much damage could really be caused by a tennis racquet and balls in the right – or possibly wrong –
female hands, we leave you to ponder on this, courtesy of those loveable Welsh masochists Pritchard and Denton, of Dirty Sanchez fame. Don’t try this at your local rec, readers…


Posted: 18th, June 2012 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink