Top Ten Ridiculous On-Court Tennis Tantrums

Tennis is a calm and serene sport, where the most vigorous activity usually stems from anxious spectators. However, there are times when players lose their cool and get riled up. 

Even though these temper tantrums don’t occur often, they happen occasionally. All shapes and sizes of on-court flare-ups have entertained fans over the years.

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Besides racket breaking and yelling, there’ve been full-blown outbursts. This has also piqued the interest of many eagerly scanning upcoming games and live tennis odds in hopes of making the right judgment call. 

on-court tennis tantrums

Let’s time travel through these top 10 tennis tirades of all time.

John McEnroe-1981-Stockholm

John McEnroe lost his temper, leading to one of the most popular catchphrases, “You can’t be serious.” Known for his quick temper, McEnroe gained a reputation as a tennis hothead.

The umpire made a controversial call that led to McEnroe’s fury. The seven-time Grand Slam winner went on to rant on the court at the umpire.

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Jimmy Connors-1991-US Open

Jimmy Connors had an on-court meltdown and launched aggressive tirades at the umpire, David Littlefield. He repeatedly called him “an abortion” throughout the match.

This was after the umpire called out his overhead. He escaped penalty and won the match.

Goran Ivanisevic- 2000- Samsung Open

Goran Ivanisevic walked off the court in the middle of a match. After breaking his three racquets while playing, he said he had nothing to play with.

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Consequently, bowing out of the Samsung open match. Walking out of the game is unacceptable by all standards. The Croatian got disqualified. 

Xavier Malisse – 2005- Miami Masters

Xavier Malisse takes the cake when acting like a spoiled toddler. After a line judge call that he disagreed with, Xavier went on a rampage.

The Belgian threw himself on the ground and started rolling about and shouting at the umpire. He bashed his racquet and kicked over the referee’s chair before storming off the court.

Anastasia Rodionova-2007-Cincinnati Open

Anastasia Rodionova lost her cool and smashed the ball at 3 spectators cheering her opponent, Angelique Kerber.

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The 25-year-old Russian became the second female to be disqualified in WTA history for her unsportsmanlike conduct. The other female to be disqualified was Irina Spirlea in 1996. She swore at an official.

Serena Williams-2009-US Open Semi-final

Serena was under pressure against Kim Clijsters in the first set. She tried to break a tie in the second set, but the umpire called a foot fault.

This set off the legend’s verbal abuse against the umpire. She used the infamous line telling the judge to “shove the ball down your throat.”

She got a penalty point and ultimately lost the match.

Marcos Baghdatis-2012-Australian Open

Marcos Baghdatis became an overnight YouTube sensation when he broke 4 racquets in succession. He faced defeat and clashed with Stanislas Wawrinka, sparking his outrage.

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He had lost two sets. He won the third set after the tantrum. But in the end, he lost the game.

Viktor Troicki-2016-Wimbledon

Troicki went nuts in Wimbledon. He raged and ranted for a long time on the court. It went on for five minutes. He raged at the umpire, calling him the worst and an idiot.

The official had made 30 wrong calls. The Serbian pulled a cameraman onto the court to point to him where the ball had hit the ground.

Karolina Pliskova-2018- Italian Open

Karolina let loose when she was playing against  Maria Sakkari. The umpire’s chair angered her and she had an outburst.

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She bashed the umpire’s chair several times with her racquet and made a hole in it. This was after the referee made an incorrect call on one of her smashes during the match.

Serena Williams-2018- US Open

In the 2018 US Open, Serena Williams heatedly exchanged words with the chair umpire throughout the match. She was eventually cautioned for alleged coaching.

Therefore She ignored the warning and bashed her racquet. She then called out the umpire for being sexist, lost the match, and was fined for her behavior.

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