Sports

The Craziest On-Court Meltdowns in the History of Tennis

In anticipation of the U.S. Open, we highlight our favorite tennis tantrums.

For some reason, tennis has had a hard time shaking its stuffy reputation. You know, the country clubs, the pleated skirts. But we would be remiss to write the sport off as a bourgeois pastime reserved solely for bored suburban housewives. Consider the passionate displays exhibited by many of the best players—and by "passionate," we mean batshit crazy. With the U.S. Open starting up next week, it's high time to revisit the tirades, tantrums, and racquet-smashing hijinks that give the sport a little edge.

John McEnroe

Clearly, McEnroe is the quintessential bad boy on the court; he's as revered for his temper as for his racquet skills. This video includes a comparatively tame offense, cursing out an umpire.

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Andy Roddick

Even tennis's golden boy can get heated—and downright snotty—from time to time.

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Roger Federer

Federer's anger was intense and fast—and left his racquet in shambles.

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Novak Djokovic

Djokovic gets spurned twice in the same game, and he's not happy about either incident, though the second one really gets under his skin.

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Serena Williams

Dear God, that woman can be terrifying when she wants to be.

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Andy Murray

Murray's anger comes across as a bit whiny while he complains about the roof closing on his game during Wimbledon 2013. Boo hoo, dude.

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Andre Agassi

The tantrum is obviously great, only to be outdone by the epic eighties coif.

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Pete Sampras

Sampras was known for keeping his cool on the court, thus his "meltdown" is the most civilized on the list.

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John McEnroe, Part 2

Then there's this gem, from the 1990 Australian Open, when three aggressive offenses lead to disqualification.

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Bonus: Richie Tennenbaum

While it may be a fictional tantrum, the emotional fallout seen on-court in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tennenbaums is certainly worth a nod.

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Image courtesy of Getty Images
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