Alexander Zverev in good company: The most famous freaks in tennis by Novak Djokovic, John McEnroe & Co

“YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!”: Probably the most famous freak out ever.

In Wimbledon in 1981, John McEnroe saw a ball on the line in a match against his American compatriot Tom Gullikson, but the referee did not.

“The Brat” yells loudly at the man in the chair for minutes, beginning with the legendary phrase “You cannot be serious!”

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Freak out in Mexico: DTB Vice Hordorff introduces himself to Zverev


In the tradition-conscious Wimbledon, where etiquette and decency are almost more important than serve and volley, a huge scandal.

NOT WITH ME: Jimmy Connors, not exactly known for being a child of sadness, makes short work of it in the semifinals against Ivan Lendl in Boca Raton in 1986. He thinks a ball from Lendl is out, but Lendl gets the point. Connors discussed, lamented, first received a penalty point, then a game deduction. That’s too much of a good thing: Connors packs his bag and leaves the place. Game, Set, Match Lendl.

WOMAN POWER I: The fact that Serena Williams is one of the greatest players of all time remains undisputed. However, her temperament often gets away with her. Most recently in the 2019 US Open final against Naomi Osaka, when she called referee Carlos Ramos a “thief”, was illegally coached and threw various rackets around. In 2009 she pushed it even harder against Kim Clijsters in the same spot in the semifinals. She announces to a line judge: “I’m going to shove this damn ball down your damn throat.” Can you do that?

WOMEN’S POWER II: Karolina Pliskova also took part – quite emphatically. In the match against Maria Sakkari 2018 in Rome, the number one at the time was so annoyed by everything and everyone that when she changed sides, she hit the referee’s chair with full force in the best Zverev manner. A hole in the side panel demonstrates the remarkable power behind the punches. By the way, the match goes to Sakkari.

THE MAESTRO: Roger Federer? For real? Roger Federer misbehaving? yes he can In his childhood he is even said to have been a real rabble-rouser on the pitch, there is no photographic evidence of this. But from his semi-final against Novak Djokovic in Miami in 2009, when Federer attacked his racket full of anger. Then he apologizes a hundred times to everyone, the referee, the opponent, the spectators, the ball children, his mother and everyone who crosses his path.
DER NOLE: Novak Djokovic’s most famous freak out wasn’t that long ago. In the round of 16 of the US Open 2020 against Pablo Carreno Busta, Djoker conceded a break and, in a rage, fired a ball backwards with full force. A linesman sags, the ball hit her in the larynx. Djokovic is visibly shocked, but all his wordy apologies don’t save him from disqualification.

OWNER GOAL: Goran Ivanisevic always has high entertainment value. The “Lord of the Aces” likes to insult referees and line judges, spectators and even himself. In 2000 he destroyed one racket after the other in the round of 16 against Lee Hyung-taik in Brighton – until none were left in his pocket, but the match is not finished yet. There is no replacement either, Ivanisevic has to give up due to a lack of play equipment.

BODY INJURY I: David Nalbandian really lets it rip. At London’s Queen’s Club, the Argentinean feels everything is going against him in the 2012 final against Marin Cilic. So, at full speed, he kicks an advertising board in front of a linesman’s chair. A piece of tape splintered, the material made its way into the linesman’s leg, blood spilled. Nalbandian no longer has to be angry, he can take a shower.

BODILY INJURY II: Yes, such a chair umpire lives quite dangerously, sometimes a match even ends with the emergency doctor. At the Davis Cup 2017 between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov hammered the ball with full force towards the chair after a lost point – and hit referee Arnaud Gabas in the face. The Frenchman suffers a fracture of the floor of his eye and ends up in hospital, while Shapovalov is allowed to change.

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“Fucking idiot!” Zverev ticks out and is completely disqualified




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