You thought that tennis was a classy sport practiced by distinguished people and that’s why you can’t scream like crazy during matches (I’ve never understood that by the way)?
Well, don’t be mistaken, tennis players also freak out, and especially blow up rackets or insult referees, and it’s not pretty to see (but at least it gives a show). A look back at the ten times when tennis players, or tenniswomen, really abused it and were rightly considered big haters.
1. Marat Safin, the greatest hater
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How not to start this top without mentioning Marat Safin?
The Russian player has won quite a few titles (15 singles titles on the ATP circuit including the US Open and the Australian Open) and has already been number 1 in the world, ok, it’s not just anyone. But Safin is also well known for breaking racquets, lots of racquets. He himself said at a press conference in 2009 “I had to break more than 700 racquets” and then said “they deserved it”. Uh ok, Safin, what did these snowshoes actually do to you??
Knowing that a quality racquet for professional players costs around $200, we can estimate that the guy wasted around $140,000, normal. Safin doesn’t have the same problems as us in terms of money, I think.
2. Fabio Fognini, does not necessarily break rackets but insults
For the Italian, breaking racquets is not necessarily worth it, but on the other hand when you lose your footing, insulting your opponent, the referees and just about everyone, it’s much more fun.
Despite his talent, Fognini is best known for his repeated freakouts. To name a few, we have for example in 2018, the time when he lost against the French Jérémy Charly in the second round of Indian Wells and allowed himself to say in front of everyone “he plays at random” , and “fuck you asshole”, then other cute attentions like that. He had also told Nadal “don’t break my balls asshole”, when the latter had pointed out to him the long pause time between each of his services.
One of the most recent is the insult he uttered against Medvedev, “frocio”, in July 2021. Obviously, he was accused of homophobia, and so he later apologized, explaining that he had was “too hot” and that the heat had gone to his head…uh yeah that’s a really rotten excuse, we didn’t know that the heat made you homophobic.
3. Marcos Baghdadis, the racket-breaking record holder
We explain, Marcos Baghdadis REALLY holds the record for the number of rackets broken in just 30 seconds: 4. It was at the Australian Open in 2012 against the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka. Yeah it’s hot for him to be known for that, but he must have been really, really unhappy. It’s true that when I knew I was going to miss my license, I voluntarily ran into a wall to break the car and the examiner with it. After all, it makes sense to tear down what upsets us.
Apparently, when the Cypriot gets pissed, he goes after his equipment, and now he doesn’t even bother to unpack his racquets before smashing them. Otherwise, meditation sessions to ease your tensions also exist.
4. Xavier Malisse, breaking and insulting
Why deprive yourself when you can do both? Xavier Malisse understood it well, he blows his rackets (classic) but also insults the touch referees. The Belgian had been disqualified in 2005 at the Miami tournament, because he had first burst his equipment, then insulted the supervisor and the line judge totally gratuitously. It was in a match against David Ferrer in the early rounds of the tournament. Malisse had felt he was the victim of an injustice on the part of the line judge and that’s why he had freaked out.
In short, combo for the athlete who is necessarily disqualified from his match and receives a fine.
5. Mikhail Youzhny, the guy who blows his head off
So here we go on a really funny story. You must know a guy around you who is stupid enough to break ice cubes with his forehead in the evening, and if you’ve never known one in your life, it’s probably because you only want to hang out in high society. In short, all that to say, that’s almost what Mikhail Youzhny did by exploding his racket against his head.
The only problem is that it’s not the racquet that broke, but his head. He split his skull open and had to seek medical attention. Well, it was in 2008 at the Miami tournament (again) that the Russian clearly showed himself in front of everyone, and the worst thing is that he continued to do this later, but without breaking his head .
6. Daniel Köllerer, aka “Crazy Dani”
The name says a lot about the person. The Austrian player is known for not respecting anyone, which generally isn’t great when you’re a tennis player. Of an average level (he never exceeded the 55th position in the world ranking), he made a reputation for himself on the networks in particular, by insulting and spitting on almost all the people present during the matches (public, opponent, referees, everyone has the right).
He was hated by all the other players on the APT circuit who refused to shake his hand, such as Brazilian player Marcos Daniel, whom Köllerer called a “monkey” telling him to “go back to his jungle”. , good atmosphere.
He was therefore suspended… for life in 2011 (yes, it’s possible). Bye bye Crazy Dani, and no one will miss you.
7. Goran Ivanisevic, the guy who got himself into trouble
A story once again quite funny when it comes to Goran Ivanisevic. He had broken three of his racquets during a match in 2000 in Brighton, ok next to the record of Marcos Baghdadis, three racquets is not enough. The only problem is that after that, Ivanisevic had no more racquets to play with, which is usually a bit of a problem. He couldn’t borrow his doubles partner’s racquet, because the latter had a different equipment supplier, and in terms of the contract, that necessarily posed a problem. Well suddenly he was forced to forfeit. It’s a bit stupid though.
8. Michael Kouame, who slaps his opponent during the IFT tournament in Ghana
The young French player, after losing his match against the Ghanaian Raphaël Nii, slapped his opponent because he had lost, yeah logical finally, I do that all the time.
He publicly apologized after that explaining that he spun after the public insulted him during the match, insisting that this match was particularly frustrating, well that doesn’t really excuse the gesture, but Michael Kouame has recognized it himself and is awaiting his sanction. It should be remembered that he is only 15 years old and started in high level tennis, we can only hope that he calms down over the years otherwise it could be complicated.
9. Andrey Rublev, the annoying guy
The Russian player is more one of the embarrassing moments of nervousness than of those where you say to yourself “oh yeah the guy is coming”, simply because he would like to blow up rackets, but can’t. You have to believe that he has good quality equipment, which a priori is a good thing, but suddenly he really loses his street cred’ and that’s more annoying.
Remember in 2016 in Saint Petersburg when he tried several times to break his racquet without success. On the networks, the public enjoyed comparing him to Stanislas Wawrinka who has no trouble breaking his racket in one shot. Afterwards, we remember that the goal of this sport is not to destroy rackets, so there is no pride to be had.
10. And even great athletes like Serena Williams, Djoko or Federer have their little moods
The great Serena Williams has also already broken rackets and has already been sanctioned for it, as was the case against Naomi Osaka in 2018 during the US Open, where the American lost to the Japanese and had smashed her racket in frustration.
Same for Djoko, who as we know can sometimes be angry, he is even quite famous for that. This was the case at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, or at the ATP 500 in Dubai in early 2022, to name but a few examples, because as soon as things don’t turn out to his advantage, he freaks out.
Finally, even Federer has come a long way before becoming the gentleman he is today. He was nervous in his youth, and we also remember this magical racquet break against Djoko in Miami in 2009. In short, everyone went through it in the end.