7 worst post-match handshakes in men's tennis, ft. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal (far right) and Novak Djokovic (far left) have been involved in some of the coldest handshakes in men's tennis
Rafael Nadal (far right) and Novak Djokovic (far left) have been involved in some of the coldest handshakes in men's tennis
Neelabhra Roy

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are among the biggest names in men's tennis. But the two greats have also been involved in some questionable handshakes over the years.

Post-match handshakes are a crucial aspect of tennis as they symbolize sportsmanship and respect. And while many players show great warmth during all of their handshakes, there are some who have indulged in cold handshakes too.

There are several controversial post-match incidents that have gained notoriery over the course of the sport's history. Without any further ado, let's take a look at seven of the coldest handshakes in recent times.

#7 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Daniil Medvedev, 2022 Australian Open

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas aren't exactly friends, to put it mildly. They have forged a tempestuous rivalry ever since their very first meeting, at the 2018 Miami Open.

The most recent match-up between the two players came in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January this year. The match had its fair share of controversy as Medvedev was irritated with Tsitsipas supposedly receiving coaching from his father. The Russian even had a heated exchange with the chair umpire about it.

Medevedev eventually managed to come out on top with some brilliant tennis, winning 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to seal his place in the final. But the post-match handshake between the two was far from cordial as Tsitsipas just touched Medvedev's hand and walked off.


Medevedev went on to lose a close final to Rafael Nadal in five sets.

#6 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Nick Kyrgios, 2022 Wimbledon

Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas locked horns in the third round of Wimbledon this year. The two previously faced each other at the Halle Open, with Kyrgios coming out on top.

At Wimbledon, Tsitsipas took the opening set 7-6 (2) but Kyrgios bounced back strongly to win the next three sets and seal his place in the fourth round. The match was an ill-tempered affair, with three code violations being issued.

The post-match handshake was unsurpringly brief and stiff before Tsitsipas walked off.


#5 Andre Agassi vs Boris Becker, 1995 US Open

Andre Agassi and Boris Becker are two of the finest tennis players of all time, and they had a fierce rivalry during the late 1980s and 1990s. 1995 was an especially eventful year in their rivalry as they met in the semifinals of two Grand Slams.

Becker beat Agassi at Wimbledon, coming back from a set and a break down. After the match, the German slammed his opponent in the media, stating that Agassi was not liked too much by other players on tour.

Becker and Agassi met once again in the semifinals of the 1995 US Open, and both players produced some wonderful tennis in a match full of tension. Agassi often provoked the crowd and at one point, complained to the chair umpire that his opponent was receiving coaching.

The American eventually won 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 to seal his place in the final. After the match, he hardly made any eye-contact with Becker during what was a pretty cold post-match handshake.


#4 Holger Rune vs Casper Ruud, 2022 French Open

Holger Rune and Casper Ruud are the two highest-ranked players from Scandinivia. The youngsters locked horns for the second time this season in the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Both players were in the hunt for their maiden Grand Slam semifinal, and Ruud dominated the match with some magnificent tennis. Rune looked frustrated at times and even told his mother, who was in the stands, to leave the arena.

Ruud eventually won in four sets to seal his place in the semifinals. Rune, meanwhile, gave the Norwegian a cold handshake and the latter responded by shaking his head.


Ruud later claimed that the reason behind the Dane's handshake was that he had asked him why he felt the need to check every mark. The Norwegian went on to lose to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final.

#3 Rafael Nadal vs Tomas Berdych, 2006 Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal was far from pleased with Tomas Berdych's actions in 2006
Rafael Nadal was far from pleased with Tomas Berdych's actions in 2006

Rafael Nadal has a 20-4 head-to-head record against Tomas Berdych, but there was a time when the Czech was ahead.

The two met for the fourth time when they clashed in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open back in 2006. Defeating Nadal always takes some top-quality tennis, and Berdych produced exactly that.

The Czech won 6-3, 7-6 (6) to register his third successive win over the King of Clay and book his place in the semifinals of the tournament.

However, Berdych gained notoriety after putting his finger on his lips to silence the crowd. Nadal was far from pleased with his opponent's actions, and made his feelings known during their post-match handshake.


Berdych did not defeat Nadal again until the quarterfinals of the 2015 Australian Open.

#2 Radek Stepanek vs Janko Tipsarevic, 2012 Davis Cup

Radek Stepanek and Janko Tipsarevic have faced each another on four occasions, with the Serb leading 3-1. The final meeting between the two players was without a doubt the best one as it had some magnificent tennis that was topped off with some post-match drama.

The 2012 Davis Cup quarterfinal pitted Czech Republic against Serbia in Prague. The hosts took the lead as Tomas Berdych beat Viktor Troicki in straight sets.

Tipsarevic and Stepanek then played out a thrilling encounter and the former came out on top after saving three match points to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7. The Czech was naturally disappointed, but his gesture during the post-match handshake was far from graceful.

While shaking Tipsarevic's hand, Stepanek showed him the middle finger, which prompted the Serb to react angrily. Tipsarevic needed to be stopped by his captain Bogdan Obradovic to prevent the event from escalating even further.


#1 Novak Djokovic vs Fabio Fognini, 2013 Shanghai Masters

Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini squared off in the third round of the Shanghai Masters in 2013. Djokovic produced some brilliant tennis to beat the Italian 6-3, 6-3 and seal his place in the quarterfinals.

Fognini, who is well-known for his fiery temper, lost his cool on multiple occasions during the match. Djokovic was evidently not pleased with the Italian's behavior and looked to give him a piece of his mind during an aggressive post-match handshake.

The Serb shook Fognini's hand and appeared to pull the latter towards him.


Edited by Anantaajith Ra


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