From racket throwing tantrums to potential death threats: when tennis stars get angry and lose it. This covers the best of it.

Tennis, the most infuriating game around? As anyone who’s played tennis will know, it takes a lot to keep your anger contained within, especially when your game’s deteriorated or when an umpire's decision goes against you. That's where the anger and frustration spill over and players show their sometimes fragile states of mind.

Tennis is full of fine examples of players who've lost the plot and ‘Super Brat’ John McEnroe was arguably the finest exponent of letting it all out (often to his advantage); his ‘You can not be serious’ moment becoming the stuff of tennis legend. Some tennis players have even been known to beat themselves up on court in the heat of competition! We’ve compiled some of the finest examples available on youtube of tennis stars who’ve lost the plot in the heat of battle.

Mikhail Youzhny - Hits himself and draws blood

Tennis fans could have been forgiven for thinking that this was some sort of fake joke, after all it was April 1st when Russian tennis star Mikhail Youzhny decided to take it out on himself after losing a point in a tie-break with Nicolas Almagro. Hitting a relatively easy return into the net, he then decided to take it out on his head and hit himself three times with the frame of his tennis racket, drawing blood. Amazingly, despite requiring medical attention, he won the next seven points, taking the tie-breaker and also the match.

John McEnroe - ‘You can not be serious’

‘Superbrat’, as he was christened by the British press, truly came to public prominence for his on-court behavior, as opposed to his superb touch play in the 1981 Wimbledon tournament. It was during this tournament that his catchphrase ‘You can not be serious!’ was born. McEnroe actually seemed to excel after his verbal outbursts, and despite coming close to be thrown out of the tournament after one incident in which he called the umpire ‘the pits of the world’, he made it to the final that year. McEnroe somehow managed to keep his cool against the always ice cool Bjorn Borg in the final and triumphed to bring to an end Borg’s run of five successive Wimbledon wins.

Marat Safin - The angriest man in tennis?

While some players like to take their anger out on the umpire or themselves, others prefer to do it to their rackets and other things around. Marat Safin was master at all of the above. A quick search on youtube reveals him to be one the biggest racket smashers and moaners is the game. Countless times the former world number one has taken it out on his racket and the umpire. This little video displays the good, the bad, and the ugly side of Safin who always ensured he had a smashin' time on court.

Serena Williams - The disqualified foot fault and the judge’s throat

Serena Williams during the 2009 US open who angrily told the judge who calls violations on foot placements: “I swear to God I’m going to take this ball and shove it down your *expletive* throat, you hear that? I swear to God.” Serena was then reported to the umpire, as she felt her life was in danger. Serena then retorted: “I never said I would kill you, are you serious?” - she must have taken a leaf out of John McEnroe’s book. She was then deducted a point and she auto-lost the match - certainly not the most honorable way to win, that’s for sure.

Picture Credit: Mai Groves /