Tennis Channel will
countdown the top-five tennis meltdowns of all time in a new
documentary special, Tennis Channel Best of 5: Temper Tantrums.
The program looks at some of the most outrageous behavior,
racquet smashes and over-the-top verbal abuse ever to occur on a
tennis court. The show was announced today by Victoria Quoss,
executive vice president, programming and network strategy.
The show is scheduled to air: Sunday July 13 @ 7 pm ET and again
at 10 pm ET. Following its premiere, Tennis Channel’s Best of 5:
Temper Tantrums will appear on the network throughout July.
Viewers can visit
www.tennischannel.com/schedule/ for additional dates
“As memorable as the classic volleys and all-time matches are in
tennis, fans never forget the emotional outbursts players show
on the court from time to time,” said Quoss. “In Tennis
Channel’s Best of 5 viewers will relive incidents when tennis’
traditional etiquette and sportsmanship were left behind in
favor of old-fashioned competitive fire.”
The top-five meltdowns in Tennis Channel’s Best of 5: Temper
5) Martina Hingis 1999 French Open – Ranked No.1 at the age of
18, Hingis walked across the court to examine the spot where the
ball landed, garnering boos from the crowd. As she began to lose
her grip on the match, she took a strategic – yet highly
controversial – bathroom break and then capped off the lost
match with two underhand serves.
4) Ille Nastase 1979 US Open – In a match against John McEnroe,
Nastase, in his waning years as a tennis star, turned the
competition into a spectacle by constantly berating the head
umpire. Nastase argued frequently until he finally defaulted.
3) John McEnroe 1984 Stockholm final – Down a set, a frustrated
McEnroe cleared a refreshment table with his racquet during a
changeover. Glass shattered and fell on people sitting in the
first and second row, among them the King of Sweden. Fortunately
for McEnroe, His Majesty got a kick out of the angry tennis
player’s antics and did not seek his punishment.
2) John McEnroe 1987 US Open – After losing a game on a
“terrible call” to cut his lead to 5-4, McEnroe sunk his teeth
into 22-year-old head umpire Richard Ings. He berated Ings with
a profanity-laced tirade – which included his now-signature
line, “You cannot be serious!” – and continually pointed out
which calls had been missed. McEnroe was hit with three code
violation penalties, a $7,500 fine and a two-month suspension.
1) Jeff Tarango 1995 Wimbledon – After disagreeing with several
calls, Tarango erupted at head umpire Bruno Rebeuh. He called
Rebeuh “corrupt” and was tagged with even more penalties.
Enraged, Tarango packed up his gear and marched off the court
without completing the match. The incident became more bizarre
when it was reported that Tarango’s wife had entered the fray
following his exit, and slapped the umpire several times. The
moment is now known in tennis circles as “The Slap Heard Round
In addition to other tennis meltdowns not included on Tennis
Channel’s top five, Best of 5 features a how-to guide, with
players agreeing on what typically must be included in a true
tennis tantrum. These should: 1) come right after perceived bad
calls; 2) take place while losing to an opponent the player
believes to be inferior; 3) incorporate the pre-requisite
racquet smash; 4) include profanity-laced diatribes. In fact,
the program includes eight censorings, all of McEnroe.
Current and former players such as McEnroe, Tarango, Mike and
Bob Bryan, Jimmy Arias, and Fernando Gonzalez give insight into
meltdowns they have experienced, outbursts they have witnessed,
and just how hard it is to remain in control on the court and in
the locker room. Here are some of the more memorable lines
uttered on the court, according to the experts interviewed for
Best of 5:Temper Tantrums Quotes:
“When you finish this match, watch the TV. Then come to me and say, ‘I’m
sorry.’” – Fernando Gonzalez
“You don’t call me Nastase. You call me Mr. Nastase.” – Ille Nastase
“You cannot be serious! That ball was on the line. Chalk flew up!” – John
“Thanks for ruining another match for me. You going to try to set the
Guinness Book of World Records for f!%*ing me?” – John McEnroe
“Gary Muller just said to the umpire, ‘Can I get fined for what I think?’
And the umpire said no and he goes, ‘Ok, I think you’re an
@$$$ole.’” – Jimmy Arias