Tennis history is full of spectacular moments, from marvellous wins to sublime rivalries and even controversial events. After all, tennis is a game of surprises. There’d been a multitude of great occurrences that define and redefine tennis since time immemorial. However, these had been the greatest and some, contentious thus far, in no particular order.
Greatest (and Controversial) Moments in the History of Tennis
1) Monica Seles stabbing incident
Proving how influential the Seles vs Steffi Graf rivalry then, it compelled a fan to stab Seles on April 13, 1993. The incident happened during a match and was inflicted by a mentally ill Graf fan. In 1993, Seles showed her finest games.
Seles was stabbed in the back, affecting her tennis capacities and skills after that. Seles was formerly ranked #1, but Graf brought low her ranking. Eventually, Graf became the #1 player in women’s category.
2) Rafael Nadal’s win against Roger Federer
Nadal versus Federer was one of the most-followed tennis rivalries of all time. Federer has always been ahead of Nadal. But Nadal won over him in Wimbledon 2008 men’s singles finals after 4 hours and 48 minutes – one of the longest in the history of tennis where incredible sportsmanship was in full display.
The prior year, he came too close to winning his first Wimbledon until he faltered and lost. This had the spectators anticipating their 2008 match that did not disappoint. It was even considered as the greatest match in history. Nadal’s memorable winning moment caused him to collapse on the court, albeit happily. He was the first Spanish tennis player to win Wimbledon after 40 long years.
3) Roger Federer smashed his racquet
In a shocking display of strong emotions from arguably one of the coolest players in tennis, a frustrated Federer smashed his racquet on the ground. It was during the 2009 Miami Open where he met with Novak Djokovic.
The crowd booed Federer, even eliciting surprised reactions from the sportscasters since he was not a “boo-boo” player. But it was the only time he had experienced a negative reception since he has always been the mild-mannered one.
4) Andre Agassi’s emotional retirement speech
Agassi’s tennis career has been the most inconsistent in terms of victories and defeats. He had his moot moments, but everyone would remember his iconic speech after losing the game in the 2006 US Open.
Agassi suffered from a back injury that compelled him to retire earlier than expected. He was under strong painkillers. An emotional Agassi bade goodbye through one of the most iconic retirement speeches the spectators had seen.
5) John McEnroe hurt the King of Sweden
McEnroe, or Mr Erratic as he was called, was known for his outbursts on and off the court. In one of his episodes during the 1984 Stockholm finals, he lost his cool and vented out by hitting a table full of refreshments. Some flew to the crowd and struck King Carl XVI Gustaf.
McEnroe realized what he had done. Fortunately for him, the Kind downplayed what happened and the ever-emotional notoriously outspoken tennis player did not receive any punishment.