Nick Kyrgios has lived up to his reputation as one of the bad boys of tennis at Wimbledon but he is just the latest in a long line of controversial characters.

The Australian, who takes on Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s men’s final, has made waves at the All England Club this year with his antics, including spitting in the direction of fans and calling for third-round opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas to be disqualified.

AFP Sport takes a look at other players who have ruffled the feathers of the establishment.

John McEnroe

John McEnroe — nicknamed “Superbrat” by the British press — is the poster boy for bad behaviour on court, defined as much for his emotional outbursts as his dazzling play.

The American seven-time Grand Slam champion, who is now a TV commentator, became famous for his “You cannot be serious” plea to umpires when challenging their decisions.

One of his most notorious tantrums came at the Australian Open in 1990.

Facing Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors, he was warned for intimidating a line judge and docked a point for smashing a racquet before being defaulted for swearing.

Jeff Tarango

Jeff Tarango, who was never ranked higher than 42 in the world, was more renowned for his outrageous behaviour than his tennis.

At Wimbledon in 1995 Tarango argued repeatedly with chair umpire Bruno Rebeuh during a third-round match.

Rebeuh gave him code violation for telling spectators to “shut up”, claiming it was an audible obscenity.

Tarango accused Rebeuh of being “corrupt” and refused to play on until the supervisor was callled.

He was eventually defaulted but the drama was to continue when Tarango’s wife slapped Rebeuh in the face.

Ilie Nastase

Flamboyant former world number one Ilie “Nasty” Nastase was repeatedly punished for bad behaviour during his controversial career.

The Romanian even featured in a 1972 Sports Illustrated article headlined “Bad is Beautiful”.

At Wimbledon in 1977, in his quarter-final against Bjorn Borg, he rounded on umpire Jeremy Shales for referring to him as “Nastase”, saying: “You don’t call me ‘Nastase’ you call me ‘Mr Nastase’.”

Two years later at the US Open, a match between Nastase and young McEnroe descended into chaos.

The umpire disqualified the unruly Romanian for his antics, which included flicking a net-cord judge’s hat and taking too much time between points.

Officials took the extraordinary step of resuming the match after the crowd went berserk, throwing objects onto the court but McEnroe went on to win in four sets.

Jimmy Connors

Eight-time Grand Slam winner Jimmy Connors made a name for himself as a brash, aggressive player.

The ultra-competitive American, who won a record 109 titles on the men’s tour, often argued with umpires and his bad behaviour on the court.

In 1977, he refused to take part in a parade of former champions to mark Wimbledon’s centenary and was booed when he went out to play the following day.

The five-time champion enjoyed an astonishing run to the semi-finals at the the 1991 US Open as a 38-year-old.

But the old fire was still there and Connors unleashed a tirade at umpire David Littlefield, calling him “an abortion” during a match against Aaron Krickstein.

Daniel Koellerer

Austrian player Daniel Koellerer flies under the radar compared with some of his more illustrious counterparts but his career was dogged by problems.

Koellerer, who rose to a career-high ranking of 55, lost his appeal in 2012 against a lifetime ban for attempted match-fixing.

He had been found guilty the previous year by the Tennis Integrity Unit of violating the anti-corruption programme.

It was the latest in a string of incidents in a colourful career.


Fellow Austrian Stefan Koubek was disqualified from a match against Koellerer in 2010 for grabbing him by the throat after claiming he had been insulted by his rival.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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