David Nalbandian and the 15 Most Serious Tennis Tantrums

Michael Ann McKinlayContributor IIIJuly 13, 2012

David Nalbandian and the 15 Most Serious Tennis Tantrums

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    "Foot Fault!"

    These simple calls can change the momentum and course of a match for better, or in this slideshow's case, for worse.

    Lets take a look at some of the craziest tennis tantrums ranging from Roger Federer's surprising outburst to the severe, as David Nalbandian displayed in Queens last month.    

Roger Federer 2009 US Open

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    Now, this rant was more shocking than serious in Roger Federer's case. The cool and collective Swiss disappeared in this match and his anger eventually cost him his 6th U.S. Open title.   

    Best Line: "Don't tell me to be quiet, OK? When I want to talk, I'll talk, alright?"  

    Mind you, in 2009, Federer also did this, another uncharacteristic act. 

Martina Hingis 1999 French Open

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    Dubbed "the Smiling Assassin" by tennis commentator Mary Carillo, Martina Hingis was known to have a smile whether she was winning or losing and, in this case, arguing a line call. Hingis' first meltdown in the match turned the French crowd against her, as she watched her set and two-love lead vanish against Steffi Graf.

    After losing the match, Hingis was dragged back on court in tears by her mother for the trophy ceremony.  


Jennifer Capriati 2002 Australian Open

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    Both Martina Hingis and Jennifer Capriati were definitely feeling the heat in this women's Australian Open final, as the temperature on the court was well above 95 degrees. In the days before the challenge system, all the player could do was complain about the call, which is exactly what Capriati did.  

    However, Capriati was able to beat herself, the heat and her opponent and won her third and last Grand Slam singles title. 

Andy Roddick 2001 US Open

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    This tirade features a much younger Andy Roddick, where his anger was all based on pure adrenaline. As Roddick got older and with technology changing, he became more articulate in his anger (see slide seven).

    Roddick was serving to stay in the match against Lleyton Hewitt and hit an inside-out forehand that, according to the chair umpire, was wide, as he overruled the ball out. Cue the Roddick fury.   

Marcos Baghdatis 2012 Australian Open

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    Move over Marat Safin, there's a new racquet abuser on tour. 

    After losing the first two sets to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, Baghdatis had enough and began taking it out on his racquets. 

    Even after the racquet abuse warning, Baghdatis still flashes his trademark smile.   

Andy Roddick 2008 Australian Open

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    This has to be one of the closest times Roddick has resembled a John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors. The challenge system was not in Roddick's favor that night and he relied too much on his opponent's (Philipp Kohlschreiber) mistakes. 

    Roddick claimed that he had a play on the ball, and replays show that he in fact let that ball go. Even though Roddick wins the game, he really let the chair have it on the next changeover.

    The Best Line: "I mean seriously, do you have to be a second-grade dropout to be an umpire? Did you go to school until you were eight years old? I think you quit school before you were 10. Stay in school kids or you'll end up an umpire!"

    This and other angry moments in Australia led ESPN to create a montage for Roddick during the 2010 Australian Open, telling him to stay relaxed at the "happy slam".  

John McEnroe 1981 Wimbledon

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    Here we see John McEnroe's very first "You cannot be serious" line during a match. He was almost defaulted after calling the umpire, "the pits of the world." He would later be fined $1,500 for the incident. 

Jimmy Connors 1991 US Open

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    What a great US Open Jimmy Conners had in 1991. At 39 years old, he made an exciting run to the semifinals.

    Even though Connors would go on to win this match against Aaron Krickstein, he still caused quite a scene from an overhead that was initially called good, but overruled by the umpire.  

    The Best Line: "I'm out here playing my butt off at 39 years old and you're doing that?! Very clear my butt! My butt very clear!"    

    Well Jimmy, as overrules go, it could be worse.  

John McEnroe 1984 Stockholm

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    Although 1984 was John McEnroe's best season on tour, compiling an 82-3 record, he still had his moments. After his serve was called long, McEnroe wanted to know if any other overrules were made during the match and ended up with a point penalty and, after swinging at his drinks, a game penalty. 

    The Best Line: "Answer my question! The question jerk!"

    All McEnroe wanted was an answer. Was that so hard to ask for?

Jeff Tarango 1995 Wimbledon

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    Jeff Tarango's 15 minutes of fame caused a bizarre scene at Wimbledon. After being jeered by the crowd after stopping play, he told them to "shut up", which then caused a warning from the chair.

    Later on, ticked after not getting help from the supervisor, the chair calls another code violation and that was it for Tarango, who stormed off the court.

    As tennis commentator Dick Enberg said at the beginning of the video, Tarango became the first man in the Open Era to default himself from a match. And at the press conference, his wife admitted to slapping the chair umpire after the match.

    Anger must run in the marriage.   

Lleyton Hewitt 2001 US Open

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    Lleyton Hewitt created quite a controversy at the 2001 US Open during his second round match against James Blake. 

    Hewitt, after being called for a foot fault and moments later broken by Blake, was furious that he was getting the foot fault call by the same line judge, who happened to be African-American. Hewitt, while complaining to the chair umpire used some choice words that were considered by many to be a racial remark. 

    Although Hewitt was asked repeatedly about the incident in his later matches, he was able to move on and win his first Grand Slam title the following weekend.  

Serena Williams 2009 US Open

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    Talk about a bad time to get a second warning and thus a point penalty. After getting a warning for racquet abuse in the first set, Serena Williams let her anger get the best of her after being called for a foot fault on a second serve.

    She let the lineswoman have it, threatening her with a tennis ball to "shove it down her [explicit] throat" which caused the second warning and thus a point to Kim Clijsters. 

    However, the game score was 15-40, and that point penalty gave Clijsters the match. It took Clijsters several minutes after the match to figure out what exactly happened.  

    Two years later, Serena would have another outburst at the US Open, but, unlike this one, no death threats were made. 

Mikhail Youzhny 2008 Miami

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    Mikhail Youzhny is one of the few tennis players to inflict pain on himself after a bad point.

    And it wasn't a slap on the leg or foot, but three slams to the head. He would then have to call a trainer to tend to his injury.

Tim Henman 1995 Wimbledon

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    Early in his tennis career, Tim Henman was disqualified from his first-round doubles match after smacking the ball at a ball girl's head as she was running to recover a ball from the previous point.  

    Henman would redeem himself (as seen in the picture) by giving Caroline Hall flowers. We're still waiting to see if Nalbandian will do the same with his line judge. 

David Nalbandian 2012 Queens

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    David Nalbandian tops the list of the most serious tantrums because of the blood drawn not on himself, but of a line judge. 

    Labeled "The kick heard round the world," after missing a forehand on-the-run, break point down, Nalbandian hit the wooden advertisement, and in doing so, hit a line judge, drawing blood on his shin.

    This resulted in a immediate default from the match and one awkward trophy ceremony. Nalbandian was fined and received no prize money or ranking points from the tournament.