5 of the Biggest Egos in Tennis History

Charlie Jones and Kim Doren, authors of Game, Set, Match: A Tennis Book for the Mind, claimed that tennis players have the biggest egos by far.

One would believe so just by watching one of John McEnroe’s tennis game. But McEnroe isn’t the only tennis player with a big ego, although he might have the biggest.

Before we list the names, let us remind you that ego varies. Some tennis players exhibit the entitlement attitude while for others, it’s a display of their unpretentious character. Either way, these people are a classic example of egotism.

#5 Serena Williams

“I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top position.”

Williams appearing on this list may not be acceptable to her fans. Beyond everything, she won Grand Slam after Grand Slam. It’d be natural for her to develop such an overbearing ego. Time and again, however, she showed the world how an outburst could verge into the abusive realm. Her questionable antics on-court was because of the Psycho Serena, she said. Yes, she gives her multiple personalities names.

#4 Marat Safin

“The Olympics is not for tennis and tennis does not need the Olympics. It is not my goal in life to win a gold medal.”

Safin was accused of being a hellraiser throughout his playing career, which he recently refuted. Safin was perceived as the tennis player who thirsted for achievements. There’s nothing wrong with this except that he was too lazy to practice. He would stop it abruptly or won’t be too serious about it. Safin was also known for his emotional outbursts on court coupled by racquet-smashing. He did it as least thrice in his career.

#3 Novak Djokovic

“I want the same thing I’ve wanted since I was seven years old. I want to be No. 1.”

In a world full of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who exudes unique charm on and off the court, it would be hard for a Djokovic to stand out. He was always the second fiddle. So he did what he wanted to do when he became #1—call himself king! His family even said that the old king was dead, referring to Federer.

#2 Nick Kyrgios

“I don’t have a doubt that if I wanted to win Grand Slams, I would commit. I’d train two times a day. I’d go to the gym every day. I’d stretch. I’d do rehab. I’d eat right.”

Kyrgios is an enigmatic tennis player, reminiscent of Federer’s style by bringing something new to the court now and then. But his arrogant attitude stinks. He always challenges tennis authorities and throws a fit if they could not accommodate his unreasonable requests. Thus, fines and disciplinary actions are foremost to Kyrgio’s vocabulary.

#1 John McEnroe

“The only thing ‘championship’ about Wimbledon is its prestige.”

McEnroe is dubbed as the King of Ego. If the article is going to list down all his pontifical displays, a page would not be enough.

He hated losing and would show to the people how much he hated it right at the moment. The acid-tongued player taunted Nadal as McEnrole wanted him to show more ego instead of downplaying his chances of doing such. While playing, that was McEnroe—known for his ego than his tennis style.

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Top Tennis Quotes: Victory, Humility, Championship, and Passion

Andre Agassi famously said, “In tennis, you’re on an island. Of all the games, men and women play, tennis is the closest to solitary confinement.”

Indeed, the top is a lonely place.

But, time and again, it is not always about the greatest tennis player of all time. Their words are all the more reason these men and women deserve respect.

Famous tennis quotes

Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you’re too damned old to do anything about it. ~ Jimmy Connors

Freed from the thoughts of winning, I instantly play better. I stop thinking; start feeling. My shots become a half-second quicker, my decisions become the product of instinct rather than logic. ~ Andre Agassi

I just try to play tennis and don’t find excuses. You know, I just lost because I lost, not because my arm was sore. ~ Goran Ivanisevic

I play each point like my life depends on it. ~ Rafael Nadal

It’s one-on-one out there, man. There ain’t no hiding. I can’t pass the ball. ~ Pete Sampras

If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration. ~ Serena Williams

I’m not afraid of anyone, but sometimes I’m afraid of myself. ~ Justine Henin

As a tennis player, you have to get used to losing every week. Unless you win the tournament, you always go home as a loser. But you have to take the positive out of a defeat and go back to work. Improve to fail better. ~ Stan Wawrinka

Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy. ~ Rafael Nadal

Tennis is mostly mental. You win or lose the match before you even go out there. ~ Venus Williams

Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love — the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. ~ Andre Agassi

If you don’t practice, you don’t deserve to win. ~ Andre Agassi

The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst. ~ Martina Navratilova

In tennis, it is not the opponent you fear, it is the failure itself, knowing how near you were but just out of reach. ~ Andy Murray

I enjoyed the position I was in as a tennis player. I was to blame when I lost. I was to blame when I won. And I really like that, because I played soccer a lot too, and I couldn’t stand it when I had to blame it on the goalkeeper. ~ Roger Federer

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. ~ Arthur Ashe

What is the single most important quality in a tennis champion? I would have to say desire, staying in there and winning matches when you are not playing that well. ~ John McEnroe

Since I don’t look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good. ~ Serena Williams

As a tennis player you can win and you can lose, and you have to be ready for both. I practised self-control as a kid. But as you get older they both – winning and losing – get easier. ~ Rafael Nadal

Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come. ~ Serena Williams

You don’t have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you’re a good athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not a woman. ~ Martina Navratilova

You’ll hear a lot of applause in your life, but none will mean more to you than that applause from your peers. I hope each of you hears that at the end. ~ Andre Agassi

I’ve been playing against older and stronger competition my whole life. It has made me a better tennis player and able to play against this kind of level despite their strength and experience. ~ Maria Sharapova

I don’t mind fans coming up in a friendly, respectful way. That’s all part of the fun of being a top tennis player. But if people take pictures without permission, particularly if my children are in the shot, I feel uncomfortable. ~ Roger Federer

 

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5 of the Greatest (and Controversial) Moments in Tennis History

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.

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