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Updated by william-4 on Oct 31, 2019
Headline for The Biggest Meltdowns in Tennis History
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The Biggest Meltdowns in Tennis History

We all know that pressure can do funny things to us. Unfortunately for some tennis players, the moments where they completely lost it under pressure are captured on TV. We've compiled a list of some of the biggest meltdowns in tennis history. From simple moments of madness to full-blown tantrums, there have been some pretty epic snaps on the tennis court.


Youzhny reacts badly to losing point - hits his racquet against his head

Throughout this list ballboys, linesmen and opponents have taken the brunt of the anger. Mikhail Youzhny victim was himself though when he really lost it in Miami. The Russian's crazed attack on himself wins us first place on our list of tennis meltdowns.

Foot fault at an extremely important point. Serena at US Open 2009

The difficult question was which of Serena's outbursts to put in this spot. William's had some fairly epic meltdowns at both the 2011 and 2018 US Opens, but it's her 2009 US Open performance that makes the list. Arguably we could have included all of these on the list, but this one can cover all three.

John McEnroe's most famous outburst happened in Stockholm in 1984

John McEnroe is back on our list and this time he has only himself to blame. McEnroe makes number three on the list because of his unique blend of verbal abuse, racket abuse and almost hitting his opponent with a flying water bottle. He's got pretty much every base covered here.

David Nalbandian Injures Line Judge

Losing yourself a match through a moment of madness is something David Nalbandian knows something about. The Argentine managed to get himself defaulted from the final at Queens as he kicked out at some advertising in anger. Unfortunately, a line judge's leg was right behind it and that was all she wrote for the Argentine.

Grigor Dimitrov absolutely demolishing 3 rackets

Grigor Dimitrov certainly didn't limit himself to a short meltdown when it came to Istanbul. The Bulgarian went on a racket-smashing rampage that cost him the match.

Denis Shapovalov Hits Chair Umpire

Denis Shapovalov clearly didn't learn from Tim Henman's mistake 15 years or so earlier. Instead of the ball girl taking the brunt of a tennis player's anger, this time it is the umpire who takes one to the eye. Shapovalov is slightly unlucky to make it on the list at number 6 as this is just a mistake. It goes to show though, it only takes a few seconds of madness to get yourself defaulted.

Chicago 1982 - Connors vs McEnroe flare-up

A second appearance on this list for Connors and a first for Jonny Mac. The two came very close to a bust-up in Chicago. It appears like Connors was the aggressor on this occasion, but you can bet that McEnroe wasn't an innocent party!

Jonas Björkman Loses It

It's not so easy to figure out what Bjorkman is saying to the umpire here, but it's fairly safe to assume that he's completely lost it. The Swede makes the list on the venom of this meltdown alone. It's like a Viking entering battle.

Jimmy Connors Tirade 1991 US Open

A list like this one just wouldn't be complete without Jimmy Connors. The American was 39-years-old when he embarked on this tirade against the umpire. The unfortunate umpire suffered some fairly harsh abuse at the hands of Connor's including being called an abortion.

Viktor Troicki goes crazy in Rome

This one's more half meltdown, half pantomime. Trailing 6-1, 30-40, Troicki is clearly looking for anything to distract himself from the score, and the umpire's over-rule gives him exactly what he needs. What follows is four minutes of madness, where Troicki even tries to take the tv camera to film the mark himself.

Tim Henman Disqualified from Wimbledon 1995

This mild-mannered Brit is not the first person you would expect to find on this list, but a young Tim Henman was once disqualified from Wimbledon. In a 1995 doubles match, Henman launches a ball after losing serve and unfortunately hit a ball girl. Young Tim certainly learned his lesson, but it didn't stop another young player on this list.