5 Funniest moments in Wimbledon history

Rain or shine, Nastase will play

Since 1877 every year as June rolls around, every ardent tennis fan in the world looks forward to one event “Wimbledon”. Widely regarded as the most prestigious Grand Slam in the Tennis Calendar, ‘The Championships’ or ‘SW19’, as it is popularly known, promises the fans top notch tennis over the duration of the tournament.

The finely trimmed grass, the all-white outfits, the presence of the royal family, all symbolize the uniqueness and class of this tournament. Over the years The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has been witness to fantastic triumphs, demoralizing losses, emotional breakdowns, controversies alike but today we will look at some of the lighter moments throughout the tournament's rich history.

The great Tracy Austin exchanging positions with a ball boy, Sabine Lisicki shuddering at the noise of thunder, Henri Leconte pulling a face and hopping around the court pretending to be a girl are testaments to the fact that the championships have had their fair share of Jokes.

So yes it’s funny side up and here are the top 5 funny moments in Wimbledon history-

#1 When Ilie Nastase played with an umbrella in his hand

Nastase was always known to be an entertainer. He had a special charm and connected with the audience better than most players. Wimbledon witnessed one of its funniest moments in the 1974 Championships when Nastase got beaten by the heavy-hitting American Dick Stockton in the fourth round.

The match which was interrupted several times by rain was at a crucial juncture, Nastase was down two sets to one, and the fourth set was on. It had begun to drizzle and Nastase thought they should go off and at this point, he grabbed a spectator's umbrella.

Nastase later mentioned, “I wasn't trying to distract Dick, as some people thought, but to dispel the tension I thought it would be fun to play a couple of points with the umbrella in my hand. It was a completely spontaneous act and it's a classic example of, 'OK, I lost the match, but I gave people pleasure and fun', and, even 30 years on, they still remember.

“And that makes me really proud, as proud in fact as some of my victories. It means I left an impression on people that was not just about the tennis, not just about the arguments, it was also about the fun."

Yes, Ilie we still remember the time when you went down on all fours and looked into the Cyclops line calling machine. Wonderful human being and probably the best natural talent to swing a racquet.

#2 Nick “controversial” Kyrgios’ 2015 campaign

Who are you?I’m the Batman!

Arrogance, brashness and immaturity are not things one would associate with Wimbledon but a certain 20-year-old Australian by the name Nick Kyrgios showed all of the above-mentioned qualities in abundance throughout his campaign.

From swearing at the chair umpire to picking up a fight with a female fan, this youngster definitely became the “bad boy” of tennis overnight. In a funny incident amidst all this controversy, Kyrgios but for the advice of a fan in a Batman T-shirt,might have been booking a flight back home. In his third round match, Kyrgios was clearly struggling to hold his own before a fan in one of the front rows decided to take matters into his own hands.

After his win, Kyrgios went on to say "He was just a fan. I thought he was key in the match,". "He was actually saying some really good things at crucial moments. I think he helped." Kyrgios added: "Before I was serving, he always said something like, 'Send down a bullet'. At that stage, I'm thinking, 'Let's try to make it a really good first serve here'."

Now, Nick, we hope Batman helps you tone down the anger as well.

#3 Streaker alert

malivai washington
Washington’s excuse for losing the final was hilarious

Pitch invaders are not new to sports. Over the years, many instances of pitch invasion have been seen across various sports. Wimbledon saw its first on the occasion of the Men’s singles finals in 1996. The customary pre-match picture of both the finalists, in this case, MaliVai Washington of the USA and Richard Krajicek of Netherlands was interrupted by a certain woman running onto the court with minimal clothing.

The 23-year-old streaker's name was Melissa Johnson. With her courage bolstered by a few drinks, Johnson climbed over a barrier at one end of the court and dashed the length of its periphery. Johnson had been working at a Wimbledon pizza stand.

She was quickly escorted off the court near the Royal Box by two policemen. Both players broke into laughter, as did most of the 14,000 fans. Eventual loser Washington said: “I saw these things wobbling around and, jeez, she smiled at me. I got ­flustered and three sets later I was gone.”

Now come on Mr.Washington couldn’t you come up with a better excuse?

#4 Fabio Fognini’s childish outburst at the chair umpire

An animated Fognini in action

Fabio Fognini is a name which has been doing the rounds in the ATP circuit for quite a long time. A good player with decent results over the years, Fognini will always be remembered for his temper and on-court antics.

In the 2013 Wimbledon championships, current Italian no.1 Fabio Fognini met Austria’s Jurgen Melzer in the first round. This match went on to help us witness one of the funniest moments in the Italian’s career. With Melzer up by 2 sets to 1, early in the 4th set Fognini had a forehand approach called wide by the chair umpire.

A very animated Fognini then went on to roll on the grass and plead with the umpire to reverse his decision as he had no challenges left. The crowd made most of the situation by enjoying this drama unfolding in an otherwise dull afternoon of tennis. After the game Fognini felt the there was a conspiracy against him by the officials.

Well, grow up Fabio as much as we love your antics and your Italian accent a little maturity would definitely help.


#5 When one man’s chant left the entire center court audience in splits

Mr. Lionel Bream the center court attraction (Image Courtesy: newsbiscuit)

The All England Tennis Championships in 2010 witnessed one of the funniest moments in recent history when a member of the audience shouted ‘Come on Tim!’, even though there was nobody called Tim actually playing.

Centre court just erupted, people were rolling about, and the umpire was laughing so much he fell off his chair, there was mass hysteria breaking out. Tournament Director Ian Ritchie said, “We only managed to restore order by repeatedly opening and closing the retractable roof – something we use to help calm people down.”

The man at the center of it all Mr.Lionel Bream said: “I noticed that people were shouting for the two players on court so I thought that it would be really funny if, instead, I shouted ‘Come on Tim!’ I guess the rest is history.”

Comedy experts used complex terms like “surreal juxtaposition” and “post-ironic metatextual comedy genius” to explain Mr.Lionel’s act but for the audience and millions of viewers throughout the globe, it was nothing more than 5 minutes of healthy laughter and another one of the countless memories they take away from the championships every year.

Now the challenge is on for the players, fans and ball boys and ball girls to come up with something even funnier in the coming years.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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