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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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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