15 Worst Nicknames in Tennis History

Chris Siddell@@siddellcCorrespondent IIINovember 3, 2011

15 Worst Nicknames in Tennis History

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    Picking out the worst nicknames in tennis was never going to be an easy task, but it has been done.  What lies within is a list of the worst nicknames in the history of tennis.

    Some of them are plain lazy, some of them ridiculous and others just make no sense at all.

    Checkout the countdown to see if your favourite is on the list.

15. Tipsy

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    Janko Tipsarevic was a big part of the successful Davis Cup squad from Serbia, and has earned himself a place amongst the best in the world.

    Revered in his home country, he would be a hero had it not been for Novak Djokovic casting his shadow over all others in Serbia.

    Tipsy is in no way a slight on his personality or appearance.  When he powers around the court he looks far from 'tipsy'.

    Just the first in the line of poor nicknames derived from a lack of imagination.

14. Uncle Toni

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    Antoni Nadal is the long time coach of one of the greatest players in the game, Rafael Nadal.

    He is also his uncle.

    I'm guessing the person who came up with Uncle Toni as a nickname was in a hurry when they came up with it.

    This one barely even warrants a mention as a nickname, it is just what he is—Uncle Toni. 

13. The Safinator

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    Marat Safin was the leader of a new generation of Russian stars coming through in the 2000's, winning two Grand Slam titles and a couple of Davis Cup titles.

    When searching for a nickname, ideas must have been thin on the ground.  Whoever came up with The Safinator needs to have a think about what they have done.

    It doesn't even rhyme with terminator.

12. DJ Dmi

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    Russian star Dmitry Tursunov has a reputation for being a fan of music, mixing his own special tunes to play along to.

    Therefore, when searching for a decent nickname, he ended up with DJ Dmi. 

    Not anything original about that, but at least it gives you a clue about his personality, which is why he's not higher in the list.

11. Ice Maiden

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    Chris Evert was America's sweetheart, loved by millions for her good looks and tennis ability, yet somehow she became known as the Ice Maiden.

    In later life, her number of marriages has seen Evert live up to the name, as she powers her way through men. However, back in her playing days, the name was unwarranted.

    Let us hope our current bunch don't live up to their names, DJ Dmi is not something I want to hear.

10. Berd-Man

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    Thomas Berdych is a solid performer who always seems to do well, so it's a shame he doesn't have a nickname to match.

    Clearly without any unique attributes or personality traits, Berdych is left with an almost ridiculous effort at a nickname.

    The only way someone could have come up with that is "hey, if you take the first bit of your name and add -man, then it sounds kinda like BirdMan"

9. Fraulein Forehand

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    Steffi Graf was one of the greatest female tennis players ever, her nickname was not.

    Ruthless German efficiency on the court should have led to some kind of car related pun.  Instead Graf ended up with something a three year old probably said.

    Fraulein Forehand...lady tennis-shot.  In the English speaking world maybe it has a ring to it, but in Germany this must just sound ridiculous.

    One of the best forehands in women's tennis really deserved better.

8. Muzza

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    The picture you see is not Andy Murray pondering over a difficult question from the press, it is in fact the Scot trying to think of a nickname.

    He will almost certainly be known as 'Braveheart' should he ever win a slam, especially if he gets Wimbledon.  Until then, he will have to make do with Muzza.

    Completely unoriginal and meaningless, it sounds like Murray was off school when the nicknames were given out, and so made up his own to sound cool.

    Maybe it worked when you were twelve, but Muzza is now just one more reason Murray needs to win Wimbledon!

7. The Handsome Eight

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    Before 1968, tennis was not in great shape commercially, and a conflict between professional and amateur status was brewing.

    In came World Championship Tennis, a series of tournaments played by contracted professionals.  In the first year of it's existence, the tournament had eight players, know as "The Handsome Eight".

    Tony Roche, Dennis Ralston, Cliff Drysdale, John Newcombe, Earl Buchholz, Niki Pilić, Roger Taylor and Pierre Barthès become famous as The Handsome Eight.

    Regardless of whether the men were actually handsome or not, the wording isn't exactly a crowd pull.  It's no Magnificent Seven or Fantastic Five, just eight slightly better than average looking gentlemen.

6. A-Rod

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    This one is possibly a little harsh, but for some reason I hate it.  Andy Roddick has ended up with a nickname born out of laziness.

    Given without any thought or imagination, A-Rod sums up the laziness of the American public when it comes to nicknames.  Simply having two major sports starts sharing the same nickname is bad enough (A-Rod of the NY Yankees), but using such a poor effort twice is just terrible. 

    American sports coverage will be taken a little more serious in Europe when pathetic nicknames like A-Rod are left out, and broadcasters get some imagination.

5. Tiger Tim

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    I have literally no idea how this one came to be, Tim Henman is nothing like a tiger.

    Had the nickname arisen due to some cat-like predator instinct or some stripy clothing, then perhaps Tiger Tim may have escaped this list.

    But clearly just born out of convenience and alliteration, Tiger Tim is one of the worst nicknames ever. 

4. Pancho

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    Before the Open Era, tennis was ruled by an American man named Ricardo, or Richard, Gonzalez.  World No. 1 for no less than eight years, Gonzalez is often mentioned when discussing all-time greats in the game.

    The name Pancho does not have such pedigree.  Somehow Gonzalez has ended up with the wrong nickname, as Pancho means Francisco.

    This one is in here not because it sounds bad, but because it's just plain wrong, the man is called Ricardo!

3. Delpo

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    Another inclusion from the school of A-Rod, Martin Del Potro has seen his name shortened to Delpo.

    Incredible to think a player can still have some credibility when he has such a poor nickname, but Delpo certainly does.

    Coming back from injury, he has probably benefited greatly from the loss of one syllable from his name.  Not.

    How many times, a good nickname is not just the family name shortened.

2. Gorgeous Gussie

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    American tennis star Gertrude Moran is not known for winning tournaments, but instead she's remembered for being Gorgeous Gussie.

    As I'm sure you can see from the picture, and Moran has admitted this herself, the American is not your typical 'gorgeous' girl.  More a normal, average looking girl.

    The name Gorgeous Gussie was thrust upon Moran when she appeared at Wimbledon wearing a short shirt.  She became the first female tennis player to show off her knickers.  

    The attention that followed the incident had a negative effect on Gussie, who had to live with a lot of abuse about her appearance despite her tag.

    The nickname is another press creation, this one is not just a lazy effort, but it also caused a lot of upset.  A pretty bad effort.

1. Chokeovic

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    Nobody will ever call Novak Djokovic 'Choke-ovic' after the season he has just had, and yet before 2011 this was a nickname often banded around for the Serbian.

    Having always shown the potential to produce performances like he has this year, Djokovic had previously failed to turn up to the really big matches.

    So after three or four years of failing to break through the incredible Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic was unfairly and prematurely labelled. 

    He's responded pretty well, and Chokeovic now finds itself among the worst nicknames ever.