Tennis pros who caused physical harm to officials
Australian Open 1990
One of McEnroe’s most notorious tantrums. Facing Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors, he was warned for intimidating a lineswoman, docked a point for smashing a racquet and shouted at a fan whose baby was crying. He then abused tournament supervisor Ken Farrar. Umpire Gerry Armstrong immediately disqualified the American who admitted later: “I can’t say I’m surprised. It was bound to happen.”
Tarango argued repeatedly with chair umpire Bruno Rebeuh during a third round match and the American refused to continue to play. Rebeuh gave him code violation for telling spectators to “shut up”, claiming it was an audible obscenity. Tarango accused Rebeuh of being “one of the most corrupt officials in the game” so Rebeuh gave the American another code violation. Tarango packed up his racquets and stormed off the court. Tarango’s wife then slapped Rebeuh twice in the face.
US Open 2009
Williams was called for a foot fault to go match point down in her semi-final against Kim Clijsters and launched an ugly tirade at the lineswoman who then reported the player to the chair umpire. As she had already received an earlier warning for smashing a racquet, Williams was handed a point penalty to give Clijsters victory. “I swear to God, I’m taking this ball and shoving it down your throat,” Williams appeared to say to the offical courtside. She insisted later they were the words she used. “I never said I would kill you, are you serious?”, she said.