Similar to golf, tennis is one of those sports in which all eyes are on a single individual as they either compete against another opponent or a set of obstacles such as a course or time restriction.
Whether win or lose, the result is directly tied to an individual’s performance. This tension often causes players to tighten up and lose control of their emotions when controversial calls are made or when things don’t go as expected.
While tennis is viewed as a well-mannered sport in which athletes are expected to abide by certain rules of etiquette, it’s not uncommon to see a meltdown.
With that said, here are five of the most outlandish tennis tantrums of all time.
David Nalbandian – 2012 Queen’s Club
During the 2012 Queen’s Club final, Argentine David Nalbandian let his emotions get the best of him after he failed to return the ball in play. Rather than just shout his frustrations, things got physical.
Nalbandian viciously kicked an advertising board that was sitting in front of a line judge. The board hit the judge’s shin, drawing blood. While Nalbandian’s actions were unintentional, he was automatically disqualified from the match.
Viktor Troicki – 2016 Wimbledon
Serbian tennis player Viktor Troicki went absolutely bonkers during the second round of the 2016 Wimbledon tournament. After the chair judge called a serve good, Troicki screamed in protest, grabbed the ball, and told the judge to examine it.
Of course, this questionable call was just the feather that broke the Troicki’s back as he went on a tirade that included telling the umpire he was the “worst ever.” He also claimed the chair umpire made 30 wrong calls and told him, “sorry, but you are an idiot.”
Serena Williams – 2009 U.S. Open
During a semi-final match against Kim Clijsters in the 2009 U.S. Open, Serena Williams verbally attacked a line judge after she was called for a foot fault while she was trying to force a tiebreak in the second set.
With ball in hand, Williams told the line judge, “I’ll shove this ball down your [expletive] throat.” The judge reported her to the chair umpire, who then docked Williams a point. She ultimately lost the match and the respect of those watching.
Marcos Baghdatis – 2012 Australian Open
Rather than vent his frustrations toward the umpire, Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis punished his tennis rackets during the second round of the 2012 Australian Open.
He was so displeased with his performance that he destroyed four of his rackets by smashing them on the court. Baghdatis even demolished a racket that was still in the plastic wrap.
While Baghdatis obliterated the rackets, his opponent, Stan Wawrinka, sat comfortably in his chair. He wrapped himself in a towel and sipped on his water bottle, waiting for the match to resume.
Mikhail Youzhny – 2008 Miami Masters
Russian Mikhail Youzhny was so disappointed and frustrated with the way he was playing at the 2008 Miami Masters he resorted to self-harm as a means of coping.
After he hit an easy backhand into the net, Youzhny proceeded to slam the edge of his racket into his forehead until he began to bleed. The match was delayed until Youzhny’s cut was taken care of.