Ten on court dramas and shocks in tennis – with video evidence!

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

On Sunday, Argentine David Nalbandian drew more media attention in the final against Marin Cilic at the Queens Club than initially expected after losing his cool, the match, the championship title and accidentally injured a linesman in the process.  Over the years, there have been many on court dramas and surprises – some worse than others that have occurred on the tennis court and here are ten of many possible incidences which could have been included, in no particular order from the past and present.

One of the most awful sights on a tennis court – Monica Seles’ stabbing 

In 1993 the world witnessed one of the most awful sights they were ever likely to see on a tennis court – the moment when American Monica Seles was attacked on court and stabbed by a crazed fan.  The then 19-year-old star was rushed to hospital with a wound half an inch (1.5cm) deep in her upper back. Doctors said her injuries were serious, but thankfully they were not life-threatening.

David Nalbandian forfeits a match, a championship title and injures a linesman at Queens

David Nalbandian was disqualified from the final of the AEGON Championships at Queen’s during his match against Marin Cilic for kicking an advertising board at a line judge.  All was going swimmingly for the Argentine after he won the first set, but then he lost his momentarily and kicked an advertising hoarding that was in front of the chair of line judge Andrew McDougall. The board came off its hinges, splintered and cut McDougall’s shin, causing an inch-long gash and blood began to pour.

Novak Djokovic smashes a bench during the French Open finals

Novak Djokovic did not open up his campaign in the French Open final against Rafael Nadal like he would have wanted, losing the first two sets 6-4, 6-3. During a changeover in the second set, Djokovic was broken for the fifth time and the Serb could not hide his frustration.  The world No. 1 smashed his racquet into the bottom of his bench, smashing a “Perrier” sign, leaving a large hole in the bench.

A rush of blood to the head for Mikhail Youzhny at the US Open

An on-court moment of madness by the Russian tennis player left him bloodied during his third round match at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.  When Youzhny hit a backhand into the net during his third-round match he angrily hit himself in the head three times with his racket strings. Consequently, this caused a thick stream of blood running from above his hairline and down his nose.

One is not enough for Marcos Baghdatis

Marcos Baghdatis saw red en route to his defeat against Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open after he smashed all of four of his racquets during the changeover – smashing two racquets that hadn’t even made it out of their polythene wrapping! His 30-second display of anger during his second round loss on Margaret Court Arena earned him a fine but the moment caused a Youtube sensation.

Roger Federer yells “shut up!” at the crowd at the 2012 French Open

The usually cool, calm and collected Roger Federer lost his cool during his encounter against Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro at the spectators during the French Open when people were calling out during the rallies.  With a flash of anger in his eyes, he shouted “Shut up!” at the guilty party in the crowd.

Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Murray exchange words at the Rome Masters 1000

Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Murray argued at the change of ends about the Argentine’s apparent mentioning of the Scot’s mum at the Rome Masters 1000 in 2008. The two continued to exchange words whilst seated as the umpire tried to calm the situation during a very frosty atmosphere on court between the two.

Andy Roddick requested a code violation after smashing his racquets at the Madrid Masters in 2011

Whilst playing on the clay courts of Madrid, Andy Roddick hammered his racket on the baseline and as he walked back to his chair, he asked the umpire Mohammed Layhani: “Have you given me a warning yet?” The official hadn’t, so Roddick smashed it a few more times until the code violation was granted!

Serena Williams argument leads to a disqualification at the 2009 US Open against Kim Clijsters.

American, Serena Williams was disqualified from the US Open after being penalized on match point for abusing an official who had called her a foot fault during her serve. Williams was in the second set 5-6, 15-30 down on her second serve when a line judge made the call.  The younger of the Williams sisters had already received a warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set, but the ruling by tournament referee Brian Earley booked Kim Clijsters’ place in the US Open final.

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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including www.tennisgrandstand.com, www.worldtennismagazine.com, www.tennisbloggers.com, www.tennisscoop.co.uk and www.olympictennis.net. Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website www.tennisnewsviews.com where you can read her reports. She can be reached at lburrows@internationalpress.com or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows

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