Tennis Channel to Unveil Top-Five Temper Tantrums of all Time

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel will countdown the top-five tennis meltdowns of all time in a new documentary special, Tennis Channel Best of 5: Temper Tantrums. The program looks at some of the most outrageous behavior, racquet smashes and over-the-top verbal abuse ever to occur on a tennis court. The show was announced today by Victoria Quoss, executive vice president, programming and network strategy.

The show is scheduled to air: Sunday July 13 @ 7 pm ET and again at 10 pm ET. Following its premiere, Tennis Channel’s Best of 5: Temper Tantrums will appear on the network throughout July. Viewers can visit for additional dates and times.

“As memorable as the classic volleys and all-time matches are in tennis, fans never forget the emotional outbursts players show on the court from time to time,” said Quoss. “In Tennis Channel’s Best of 5 viewers will relive incidents when tennis’ traditional etiquette and sportsmanship were left behind in favor of old-fashioned competitive fire.”

The top-five meltdowns in Tennis Channel’s Best of 5: Temper Tantrums:

5) Martina Hingis 1999 French Open - Ranked No.1 at the age of 18, Hingis walked across the court to examine the spot where the ball landed, garnering boos from the crowd. As she began to lose her grip on the match, she took a strategic - yet highly controversial - bathroom break and then capped off the lost match with two underhand serves.

4) Ille Nastase 1979 US Open - In a match against John McEnroe, Nastase, in his waning years as a tennis star, turned the competition into a spectacle by constantly berating the head umpire. Nastase argued frequently until he finally defaulted.

3) John McEnroe 1984 Stockholm final - Down a set, a frustrated McEnroe cleared a refreshment table with his racquet during a changeover. Glass shattered and fell on people sitting in the first and second row, among them the King of Sweden. Fortunately for McEnroe, His Majesty got a kick out of the angry tennis player’s antics and did not seek his punishment.

2) John McEnroe 1987 US Open - After losing a game on a “terrible call” to cut his lead to 5-4, McEnroe sunk his teeth into 22-year-old head umpire Richard Ings. He berated Ings with a profanity-laced tirade - which included his now-signature line, “You cannot be serious!” - and continually pointed out which calls had been missed. McEnroe was hit with three code violation penalties, a $7,500 fine and a two-month suspension.

1) Jeff Tarango 1995 Wimbledon - After disagreeing with several calls, Tarango erupted at head umpire Bruno Rebeuh. He called Rebeuh “corrupt” and was tagged with even more penalties. Enraged, Tarango packed up his gear and marched off the court without completing the match. The incident became more bizarre when it was reported that Tarango’s wife had entered the fray following his exit, and slapped the umpire several times. The moment is now known in tennis circles as “The Slap Heard Round the World.”

In addition to other tennis meltdowns not included on Tennis Channel’s top five, Best of 5 features a how-to guide, with players agreeing on what typically must be included in a true tennis tantrum. These should: 1) come right after perceived bad calls; 2) take place while losing to an opponent the player believes to be inferior; 3) incorporate the pre-requisite racquet smash; 4) include profanity-laced diatribes. In fact, the program includes eight censorings, all of McEnroe.

Current and former players such as McEnroe, Tarango, Mike and Bob Bryan, Jimmy Arias, and Fernando Gonzalez give insight into meltdowns they have experienced, outbursts they have witnessed, and just how hard it is to remain in control on the court and in the locker room. Here are some of the more memorable lines uttered on the court, according to the experts interviewed for the show:

Best of 5:Temper Tantrums Quotes:

* “When you finish this match, watch the TV. Then come to me and say, ‘I’m sorry.’” - Fernando Gonzalez
* “You don’t call me Nastase. You call me Mr. Nastase.” - Ille Nastase
* “You cannot be serious! That ball was on the line. Chalk flew up!” - John McEnroe
* “Thanks for ruining another match for me. You going to try to set the Guinness Book of World Records for f!%*ing me?” - John McEnroe
* “Gary Muller just said to the umpire, ‘Can I get fined for what I think?’ And the umpire said no and he goes, ‘Ok, I think you’re an @$$$ole.’” - Jimmy Arias

Tennis Channel ( is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.


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