biggest scandals in pro tennis nick kyrgios stan wawrinka

4 of the Biggest Scandals in Pro Tennis

Every sport has its fair share of shocking news and controversies. Pro tennis is no exception. BBC even called it a sport riddled with corruption

BBC is right. Below are some of the biggest scandals to hit pro tennis.

A paternity suit

It began with a seemingly faultless sexual encounter at a London restaurant, but it began one of Boris Becker’s worst nightmares. Angela Ermakova, the Russian model, came forward and accused Becker of impregnating her.

Becker initially denied anything about it until 2001 when he acknowledged the paternity of Anna—the product of their well-publicised encounter inside the broom cupboard of Nobu. 

Becker shares joint custody of Anna, 19, who followed her mother’s footsteps as a model.

Drug test fails

Several tennis players—men and women—failed drug tests time and again.

In 1997, Andre Agassi hit the lowest point of his tennis career when traces of crystal meth was found on his samples. He wrote to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) claiming that a friend spiked his drink. The ATP believed him and served him a warning.

In his 2009 autobiography, however, Agassi admitted using crystal met and that he lied on the letter.

Martina Hingis retired shortly after failing a drug test that found cocaine in her system, at only 27 years old. That was in 2007.

In 2013, her ex-husband accused Hingis of serial adultery. According to him, he found her with another man on their bed a year after their 2010 wedding.

In 2016, Maria Sharapova received a two-year ban following a test that found meldonium, a banned substance, on her system. 

Her team filed an appeal that successfully reduced her violations to 15 months. She resumed playing in 2017.

Rafael Nadal was also accused of failing the doping test after his seven months hiatus in 2012 due to an injury. The accuser was ex-Health and Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot.

This caused quite a stir involving the Spanish Olympic Committee who claimed that Nadal was subject to several anti-doping controls. The then High Sports Council President, Miguel Cardenal, said that the accusation was a slander of an important athlete in history.

Nadal sued Bachelot in 2016. He won the case, and Bechelot was fined €12,000.

Locker room altercation

Nick Kyrgios is known for his crude behaviour on and off-court. After a match against Stan Wawrinka at the 2015 Rogers Cup, Kyrgios threw obscene comments on his opponent’s girlfriend. 

A fight ensued. Kyrgios underwent a probationary period for six months and fined $10,000 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). 

Wawrinka, on the other hand, took it to Twitter to air his disappointment. He said, “What was said I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy.” 

Match-fixing

Match-fixing is a controversy that the tennis world has yet to solve. 

Daniel Koellerer, an Austrian player, received a lifetime ban after he was found liable of betting-related charges. 

He was initially fined with $100,000, but the court decided to overturn the decision since Koellerer hasn’t benefited from any of it.

Also, Koellerer once raised the ire of Stefan Koubek after losing a match between them. In 2010 National Tennis League, Koubek turned abusive, shouting expletives. At one point, he choked Koellerer while changing courts. 

Koubek was quickly disqualified, and the umpire cancelled the match.

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If you are going to list the biggest scandals in tennis, which one will you choose? Let us know.

Nadal vs Federer vs Djokovic: Which is the Best Tennis Rivalry?

Which tennis rivalry is considered the best?

Tennis fans mull over which is the better rivalry: Nadal vs Djokovic or Federer vs Djokovic. Nonetheless, the third and equally important rivalry is Nadal vs Federer. 

There is mutual respect between the two, and thus, their fans do not consider them as rivals although they are.

1) Nadal vs Djokovic

A rivalry that started in 2006, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have met each other for 54 times with Djokovic prevailing at 28-26. Nonetheless, theirs is considered as an underappreciated tennis rivalry.

Djokovic leads the finals with 15 against Nadal’s 11. However, Nadal is ahead with their Grand Slam matches at 9-6. Nadal also leads the French and US Opens while Djokovic leads the Australian Open and Wimbledon. 

The two played on hard courts (26), clay (24), and grass (4). Djokovic owns the hardcourt while, knowing Nadal as the King of Clay, he prevailed in clay. They are 2-2 on the grass court, though. Djokovic famously said also that “[Nadal] was beatable on clay.”

Some of their most memorable matches are the 2013 French Open and 2018 Wimbledon semifinal games. The latter lasted for five sets played for more than 5 hours.

This rivalry was dubbed as the third greatest men’s tennis rivalry of the 2000s.

2) Federer vs Djokovic

Roger Federer and Djokovic played with one another for 48 matches. Djokovic also leads the rivalry with 26-22. Despite this, this tennis rivalry is also underappreciated compared to the last one.

They met at the Grand Slam about 16 times —10 semifinals and five finals. Djokovic also leads their Grand Slam standings at 10-6. 

The most exciting aspect of this rivalry is that Federer used to be ahead of Djokovic until 2010 with 13-6. Djokovic grabbed the lead from Federer in 2011 with his record 20-9.

Yet another notable aspect of the rivalry is they are the only male tennis players to beat one another in Grand Slam titles. The two holds the record for the most number of Grand Slam tournament meetings.

Federer and Djokovic are the only two players who achieved the Sunshine Triple or those players who won the Australian Open, Miami Masters, and Indian Wells. Djokovic did it thrice while Federer, twice.

Their match results are even regardless of the surface they are playing. 

Although they have faced each other in the majors and other ATP matches, their 2019 Wimbledon’s final match has been the most remarkable. It was the longest match in the history of this major with 4 hours and 57 minutes.

3) Nadal vs Federer

The Nadal-Federer rivalry is one of the most historic rivalries of all time, if not the most historic.

Nadal and Federer played one another for 40 times. Nadal leads with 24-16; he also leads their finals meeting count with 14-10. 

The two have played in 14 major meetings, which Nadal also dominates at 10-4. Nadal leads the French and Australian Opens with 6-0 and 3-1, respectively. Federer owns Wimbledon with 3-1. They haven’t met at the US Open yet.

They played on hard courts (20), clay (16), and grass (4). Federer leads the matches on hard court and grass while Nadal dominated the clay court. 

Their most memorable tennis game was the 2008 Wimbledon final. Nadal and Federer played for 4 hours and 48 minutes.

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Who are you rooting for—Nadal, Federer or Djokovic? Let us know.

6 Iconic Tennis Movies Every Fan Must Watch

Compared with basketball and football movies that are popular within the filmmaking industry, tennis movies are rare. But when these flicks are available, they are sure to delight the viewers.

Here are some of the iconic film that every tennis fan must watch and sure to build up the momentum.

1) Battle of the Sexes (2017)

This one’s the most recent tennis film starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. It’s a biographical sports story depicting the legendary match between Billie Jean King and Robert “Bobby” Rigg. The movie goes with the tagline ‘He made a bet. She made history.’ King accepted the challenge to play against Rigg on a televised match. The prize money was $100,000. For Riggs, his relevance was on the line. However, for King, her goal was to help in closing the gender pay gap in tennis. It was a social issue in the 1970s that no one seemed to take seriously until later.

2) Love Means Zero (2017)

This movie is an underrated tennis film about Nick Bollettieri, a tennis coach. He was the man behind several tennis champions including Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. Nonetheless, the film focuses on the relationship of Bollettieri and Agassi as coach and player within the bounds of his tennis academy.

3) Borg vs McEnroe (2017)

Featuring one of the most enduring rivalries in tennis, the biographical sports film chronicled what went through during their 1980 Wimbledon championship match. Shia LaBeouf played John McEnroe while Sverrir Gudnason played Bjorn Borg. It is an epic face-off of the two players who have larger-than-life personalities that sure to make a clash to remember.

4) 7 Days in Hell (2015)

The film was inspired by the legendary Wimbledon match between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner. It happened during the 2010 Wimbledon first-round match. The game went on for a staggering 11 hours and 5 minutes in three days. The movie is a mockumentary of what was considered as the longest match in the history of tennis. The 50-minute comedy film is sure to give the audience some good laughs. And yes, Serena has a cameo. 

5) Break Point (2014)

The film is a feel-good, family tennis movie. The two estranged brothers, who used to play doubles, had to play tennis once more – their last shot to win a Grand Slam. It has an underdog narrative that is undermined by its dry humour. The characters are believable, although the tennis skills are lacking and render the film inauthentic. Other than that, the off-court scenes are great.

6) Wimbledon (2004)

Wimbledon is a guilty pleasure chick-flick, starring Paul Bettany who played Peter Colt and Kirsten Dunst. It follows the romance of a pro tennis player and a tennis starlet. It has some of the great tennis scenes that made the viewers feel like they are part of the match. At some point, one would want to root for Colt to win both the championship and the woman. Tennis legends, McEnroe and Chris Evert, appeared in the movie.

 

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Which tennis movie do you love the most? Let us know!