Like any other sport, tennis too has seen its fair share of players who have let their emotions get the better of them on and off the court. The sport is not just about physical exertion but mental exertions as well. Since matches do not have a time limit and the players do not have access to the coach, it could prove tedious for them.
There have been numerous incidents where the player has lost temper and done things in the full glare of the public and media, but have regretted later. These angry moments include throwing their racket, channeling their anger to their opponents or to themselves, umpires and the linesmen.
Some players are known to be angry, while some others rarely lose their temper on the court. The heat of the moment is what fuels these angry moments.
A repeat of these angry moments on and off the court has rendered the players the reputation of being the angriest tennis players of all time.
#5 Lleyton Hewitt
Australian Lleyton Hewitt was once fined $US1000 for unsportsmanlike behavior during the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The match was a tough 5-set game against Dutch player Robin Hasse. During this very game, chair umpire Fergus Murphy called several foot faults, which angered Hewitt.
Winning the game ultimately, Hewitt had his angry moments on the court when he smashed his racket on the ground and even tapped the ball in the direction of the line judge. The 27-year-old was now going to be remembered for this incident that happened during the Wimbledon of 2002.
During a post-match press conference, when Hewitt was asked about his bout of anger, he said it was justified and he claimed that one particular person called out all the foot faults throughout the game and that no one else did. Either way, Hewitt had carved a niche for himself in the “angry player” category.
#4 Andy Murray
Andy Murray has been known for expressing his thoughts and emotions as it is. It does not come as a surprise that he has made it to the list of the top angriest tennis players of all time. He has been involved in various controversies regarding the same.
Murray has not only been known to swear on the court but to cry as well. Tennis, after all, is filled with emotions! There have been several incidents where Murray has cursed on the court and smashed his racket to the ground, damaging it in the process. He also handed over the deformed racket to a group of spectators at the match.
Over the years, Andy Murray has been seen making a considerable effort to keep his anger and emotions in check. On many occasions when he was expected to flare up, he kept himself calm and smiled through it. Way to go, Andy Murray!
#3 Andy Roddick
Andy Roddick has a reputation of letting off steam the wrong way, especially on the court. He rarely leaves the court without saying a thing or two about the opponents or the match officials. One incident that has left a mark in the history of Tennis is the incident that occurred during the Mutua Madrid Open.
Roddick’s opponent for this match was Cipolla. His opponent was leading 2-0 and Murray lost it when he gave away an easy point. He smashed his racket violently, shocking everyone present.
His audacity was on full display when he walked up to the umpire and asked him if he had been warned for his actions. When the umpire responded with a no, he smashed his racket yet again, until the umpire finally issued him a warning.
Andy Roddick went on to win the US Open in 2003. He has reached the finals of Wimbledon thrice and has lost all three times to the same player, Roger Federer.
#2 John McEnroe
Back in the day, John McEnroe broke many stereotypes and rackets as well! He thought that most umpires were wrong when it came to judging him. His idea was that they would never really oust a good player.
John McEnroe once said, “They don’t want to get rid of one of the best guys if he’s bringing in ratings and interest, so, I mean, that’s a part of the incentive of getting good because you get away with more.”
“You cannot be serious” is what John McEnroe said to the umpires during the Wimbledon of 1981. This became one of the most famous lines in the history of tennis. In fact, after his separation from wife Tatum O’Neal, he was required to attend a number of anger management classes.
John McEnroe disappeared from the Tennis scene as quickly as he rose to fame. He was on a break for six months and hoped to come back in a better form to play against younger and fitter players. Sadly, that did not happen, but he will always be remembered.
#1 Serena Williams
Serena Williams is one of the best female tennis players of all time. She is known for being bold on the courts and breaking many stereotypes in the tennis court. In the US Opens alone, Williams had lost her temper thrice for various reasons.
During the 2018 epic match against Naomi Osaka, Williams lost her temper and smashed her racket in frustration. She felt she had been implicated unnecessarily. She even went on to verbally abuse the official and said that she was being treated unfairly just because she was a woman.
Williams changed her shirt on the court, on a sweltering day, at a match. She was penalized for doing so. She lashed out at the officials and advocated equality. She said that if men can do so, why the women players can’t follow suit.
One of the angriest tennis players of all time, Serena Williams has a slew of victories to showcase: 7 Time Australian Open Winner, 3 time French Open Winner, 7 Time Wimbledon Winner, 6 Time US Open Champion. She has won 23 Grand Slams in all.
Players are under tremendous pressure on the court. They do let off steam aggressively sometimes, but it is all a part of the game. Players end up being penalized too. Like any other sport, tennis too has its own great and not so great moments.