After Kyrgios’ latest antics, here’s a look at some of tennis’ bad boys
Nick Kyrgios’ much publicised meltdown at the Shanghai Masters is the latest chapter in his reign as the current numero uno bad boy of tennis.
Kyrgios had a verbal sparring session with the chair umpire as well as the fans following his loss to Mischa Zverev in the second round in Shanghai. The Australian tanked a return, and then walked off the court even before Zverev’s match-point serve could land, losing 6-3, 6-1.
HT takes a look at tennis players, both past and present, who have been in the news for the wrong reasons.
John McEnroe is the original king of on-field antics. McEnroe achieved rock star status for his famous rants as much as for his three Wimbledon and four US Open titles. They say no one, not even today, can match him for the way he argued line calls. From calling the chair umpire a jerk, to even hitting one with the ball, the headband-wearing maestro has had his fair share of bad days. After retiring, he even confessed to drug abuse.
From World No.1, he slid to the 140s in a space of one year in 1997, and then returned to win two Grand Slams. The playboy of tennis had a penchant for fast cars, dated Barbra Streisand, and was married to Hollywood star Brooke Shields. After his retirement, Agassi, who became the first man to win all the Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal, confessed to taking drugs — crystal meth — in his autobiography ‘Open’. Among the female stars, three-time Grand Slam champion Jennifer Capriati of the United States was arrested for shoplifting and possession of marijuana during a 14-month break from the sport in 1994.
As far as antics go, Safin was the heir apparent to McEnroe’s crown. And just like Agassi, the talented Russian, who is now a member of Russia’s Duma and part of United Russia led by President Vladimir Putin, had a liking for gorgeous women and fast cars. After winning a point against Felix Mantilla in the third round of the 2004 French Open, Safin mooned the crowd to celebrate it. While he was fined $500 for racquet abuse, McEnroe said Safin deserved a bonus for doing what he did.
Bernard’s father has been part of the young Australian’s troubles. In 2013, John Tomic headbutted his son’s hitting partner, Thomas Drouet, breaking his nose in Madrid. Bernard has been equally erratic and has even had run-ins with the law. He was arrested in Miami in July 2015 for trespassing and resisting arrest. He spent the day at a correctional centre. Prior to that, in 2013, he was involved in a fist fight with friends in a spa in Australia’s Gold Coast and had a go at the police who were called in to break up the fight.
Kyrgios has been reported for many transgressions in the past. But his on court war of words with Stan Wawrinka during the Roger’s Cup in 2015 was the worst of his transgressions. His sledge that Thanasi Kokkinakis had “b*****d your girl friend” got him fined $10,000 and a 28-day suspended sentence from the ATP. His latest came at the Shanghai Masters, but between transgressions, Kyrgios had produced some good tennis as well, winning three ATP tour titles, most recently at the Japan Open last week.