It’s been a shocking week in the world of tennis, but it’s not the first time that the sport has courted controversy (this year, let along throughout history). In homage to moments that have stunned the sporting world, we thought we’d pull together the five most shocking incidents to ever occur on a tennis court…
5. Serena Williams goes on the attack:
On paper, an altercation between Serena Williams and an umpire might not seem like a particularly shocking incident. In reality, Serena’s verbal lambasting of umpire Eva Asderaki in the 2011 US Open final made front and backpage news around the world:
4. Martina Hingis has an epic French Open final meltdown:
Ah, Martina. Long before she became the Queen of the doubles court Martina Hingis was a singles player with buckets of talent and a horrible temper. There were many tantrums during her illustrious career, but this is the one that left even casual observers gobsmacked:
3. Jeff Tarango throws his toys
Had it not been for this incident in 1995 Jeff Tarango may have drifted away into tennis oblivion. Fortunately, for his subsequent career as a pundit, it did. Tarango’s theatrical tete-a-tete with umpire Bruno Rebeuh and subsequent exit from The Championships is perhaps the most shocking moment in the history of the sports’ most historic tournament.
2. Serena Williams (allegedly) threatens to kill a line umpire:
2009 US Open semifinals, Serena Williams serves to save a match point and… foot fault. Did Serena take a deep breath and collect herself? Of course not. She allegedly threatened to kill the line umpire instead:
1. John McEnroe disqualified from the Australian Open:
No list of shocking incidents would be complete without including Johnny Mac. But in a glittering career littered with controversial moments, this is the one that stands out. Why? Watch and find out:
Editor’s note: Obviously, Monica Seles getting stabbed during the 1993 Citizen Cup is the single most shocking incident to occur on – or anywhere near – a tennis court. However, showing footage of Seles getting stabbed just isn’t cool so we’re not going to do it.