Serena Williams and 15 Most Shocking In-Match Temper Tantrums

Madhusudan G RaoContributor IIIApril 8, 2012

Serena Williams and 15 Most Shocking In-Match Temper Tantrums

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    Serena Williams has been in news more for her tantrums than her on-court heroics. 

    Serena is definitely turning out to be the McEnroe of this decade—such has been her behavior in tournaments, especially the Grand Slams.

    John McEnroe, as we all know, had been notorious in the past with such antics—he has been fined and penalized in many a match during his prime. 

    Racket smashing is the most frequently used technique by all these players. In this list that follows, one can witness abuse of linesmen, self-injuries, classic quotes, etc.

    Let us look at other shocking incidents over the history of tennis where in-match tantrums by players have made news.

Andy Roddick

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    2009 Australian Open Semifinal vs. Roger Federer

    In a straight-sets defeat to the champion, Roddick clashes with the umpire on a line call that did not, obviously, go his way.

    The first set was completely dominated by Federer and this was Andy's frustration breaking out.

Roger Federer

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    Miami 2009 vs. Novak Djokovic

    Yes, even the great has broken a racket in public.

    Frustrated with the point, Federer throws down his racket with such a force that it breaks immediately.

Vera Zvonareva

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    Family Circle Cup, Charleston, 2010

    When Zvonareva double faulted in a match against eventual winner Samantha Stosur, she was completely frustrated.

    Zvonareva smashed her Prince racket to the court till it was completely unusable. 

Fernando Gonzalez

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    2009 Indian Wells vs. Roger Federer

    One cannot blame Gonzalez for doing what he did. Roger Federer had that effect on his rivals when he was just unbeatable.

    Gonzalez had his fame for breaking rackets just like Marat Safin would do.

Novak Djokovic

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    US Open 2010 Final

    In the final against Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic gets really angry with himself.

    After losing the game that had many deuces, Djokovic vents his anger on the racket.

Rafael Nadal

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    Wimbledon 2011 vs. Robin Soderling

    Soderling has defeated Nadal on his favorite red clay—a real pain for Nadal in his quest. This time, they were meeting on the green lawns of Wimbledon.

    A Hawk-Eye decision that went against Nadal was good enough to launch a tirade against the umpire.

Andy Murray

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    Monte Carlo Open 2011 vs. Nikolay Davydenko

    On a point that was ruled in, look at Andy Murray's outburst against the umpire.

    The outburst was not required since Hawk-Eye showed that the ball was indeed out!

    This point gave Murray the match point in a close match against Davydenko.

Marcos Baghdatis

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    2012 Australian Open

    After going two sets down in his match against Stanislas Wawrinka, Marcos Baghdatis had enough of it. 

    He broke not one or two but four rackets to vent his frustration at an event where he was runner-up in 2006.

    Baghdatis won the set after breaking the rackets but could not sustain his performance for long, losing in four sets. 

    He was penalized with a $1,250 fine from officials for his actions on the court.

Goran Ivanisevic

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    Samsung Open in Brighton 2000

    Goran Ivanisevic retired from the match against little-known Korean, Hyung-Taik Lee, because of lack of appropriate equipment.

    He smashed all the three rackets he had with him and refused to play with a loaned one.

    Ivanisevic was fined on two counts, totaling £720 for breaking the rackets.

Greg Rusedski

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    Wimbledon 2003 vs. Andy Roddick

    Greg Rusedski was another controversial player of his time who had problems with umpires and the decisions he was given.

    Even though this was in the country that adopted him, Rusedski had no hesitation to give a mouthful to the umpire about his opinion. No wonder he was fined for this.

    This video is just one of the many arguments that Rusedski had—a reflection of his true nature on court.

Marat Safin

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    2007 Australian Open

    In a match (Round of 32) that lasted more than three hours in hot and humid conditions, Safin and Andy Roddick were involved in a fascinating duel.

    For once, Roddick was the viewer in a series of arguments that Safin had with the umpire. 

    After losing the match in four sets, Safin unleashed his thoughts on what he thought about the umpire. "Disappointed," "pathetic," "nonsense" were some words that were used!

Jeff Tarango

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    Wimbledon 1995

    Jeff Tarango has been always controversial on court. The best came in a third-round match in Wimbledon against Alexander Mronz.

    Tarango was not happy with the umpiring decisions against him, the heckling crowd and the referee.

    After being fined for code violations, Tarango picked up his rackets and walked off!

    Tarango was originally fined $63,000 for the incident, and banned for the following two years. 

Mikhail Youzhny: Blood on the Court

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    Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, 2008

    Mikhail Youzhny, after losing a point to Nicolas Almagro, hit his head with his racket thrice resulting in blood oozing out of his forehead!

    Youzhny was not surprised looking back at the incident stating that he had these angry streaks regularly.

    Luckily for him, there was a physio on the court side to attend to him.

Serena Williams: 2009 US Open

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    US Open 2010 Semifinal, Serena Williams vs. Kim Clijsters

    An unseeded Kim Clijsters was making her way in the draw that brought her to meet the defending champion Serena in semifinals.

    Williams was penalized for a foot fault, giving Clijsters a match point—she disagreed and started abusing the lineswoman.

    The umpire immediately penalized her for the obscenity and thus ended the match in Kim's favor.

John McEnroe: You Cannot Be Serious

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    Wimbledon 1981 vs. Tom Gullikson

    The umpire Edward James refused to rule John's serve in, resulting in a tirade from the legend. And then, the famous quote uttered by the magician. He was so mad at the umpire that he then started mouthing obscenities against the umpire.

    McEnroe went on to beat Gullikson and win the title defeating Bjorn Borg. That did not prevent this tirade to become the benchmark of all player tantrums.

    McEnroe later wrote a book that had this quote as the title!