Tennis is a great sport and career, paving the way to success for some of the greatest tennis players the world has ever seen. However, when it comes to headlines about this sport, the news is not always about the scores to matches or upcoming tournaments. Sometimes, players catch the attention of fans and tennis enthusiast because of their controversial behavior. Let’s take a look at some of the most controversial tennis players in history.
- Anne White and Gussie Moran
Although certain requirements must be followed, the attire of plays is not something that is always given attention. However, in 1949, Gussie Moran wore short skirt and ruffled panties (which was designed by Ted Tinling) in a match. The outfit made everyone crazy, especially the photographers who went wild and dive on the ground to get a good shot of Moran.
The uproar upset Moran, and the designer was punished by banishment for 33 years.
Then, some three decades later, another player Anne White wore a full-length white body stocking at Wimbledon. Her clothing caused eyebrows to raise, but she was allowed to finish the match because the stocking was mostly white and thus accorded with Wimbledon’s edict. However, the outfit was eventually banned by Wimbledon officials during White’s match against Pam Shriver in 1985.
- Jeff Tarango
Jeff Tarango was no Federer nor Nadal, but his behavior inside the court was more highly even for a royalty. In his 1995 match at Wimbledon, Tarango argued with umpire and even shouted at the crowd to shut them up. Tarango ended up walking off while amidst the third-round match. And to add to the chaos, his wife slapped the umpire he was arguing with.
With his outrageous behavior, Tarango was banned from Wimbledon for a year, and he had to pay a $15,000 fine.
After the incident, despite being able to join tournaments again, Tarango still leaves intriguing comments in his interviews.
- Bobby Riggs
Oh, Bobby. He was hailed the best amateur player in the world in 1939 and won several tournaments, including the Wimbledon, US Championships, and French Championships
However, he was a self-proclaimed male chauvinist. This proclamation caused an uproar in the 1970s, when women’s movement was at its peak.
He also announced that he could beat the best female tennis players in the world. That might have been true with Margaret Court May, which he beat in May 1973. However, Billie Jean King put Riggs in his place during their match at the Houston Astrodome. With 50 million TV viewers watching worldwide, Riggs’ loss to King set a new point of history for women, especially in the world of tennis.
Thus, there is no doubt that tennis players can also gain popularity without becoming champions. Although some of them made controversial headlines, they would not be inside a tennis court if they didn’t have an ounce of skill for playing the sport.