Tennis Prose



Bad Boys In Tennis

The ATP has cultivated a squeaky clean image nowadays. So you may not realize there have been some real bad boys in tennis, both on and off the court…

Did you know there’s an Aussie tradition that if an Aussie makes the Wimbledon final, the night before the final he must go to Center Court and urinate on the center of center court.

A certain former European bad boy in the 70s continued his wayward ways even as a senior player… One tennis fan observed: “I Saw him drop his pants once in a hotel lobby and ask the receptionist if she had ever seen a Romanian moon. Then he turned around and asked if she had ever seen a Romanian sausage…. poor girl. When he came to my tennis club to play in a Legends tournament all he did was hit on the 16 year old girls at the front desk! They were repulsed by him.”

This former top 15 player from Argentina seduced the movie star wife (with initials CZJ) of a Hollywood icon (with a dad named Kirk) at the Bermuda Open after he won the title.

This same player with a last name that starts with Z also had a romantic dalliance inside a car at the US Open parking lot one year with a famous American player named Jen…

The winner of the 1988 US Open took his girlfriend into the locker room shower after his triumph and what the pair of lovebirds did does not need to be explained in detail.

A certain rebellious player from Chile in the 1990s brought a harem of five hired women in heels, stilettos and very revealing outfits into the dining area at Indian Wells. The sight of the inappropriate women in such a public setting made other customers walk out in disgust.

This same player from Chile once was practicing at a club and instead of walking to the locker room to relieve himself, he did it right there on the court, in full view of a couple of dozen witnesses.

Patrick Rafter entered the US Open locker room and left his Prince tennis bag on the floor, unzippered and open at his locker and left it unattended for over an hour. When he returned, his Rolex watch had been stolen by another player.

One year at the Australian Open, Marat Safin had four beautiful blonde women in his player box for each of his matches. Patrick McEnroe sarcastically said on ESPN they were “friends” of Marat but no tennis analyst would ever say on live TV they were prostitutes.

This former US Open and Wimbledon champion had a volatile relationship with his movie star wife who claimed in her book her hot headed husband was “pushing at me, kicking me, until I stumbled backward and started slipping down the staircase…” She then walked out of the apartment and “out on the street, I had no idea where I was heading. I knew that a friend was staying at Mick Jagger’s town house, so I grabbed a cab and luckily he was there. He let me crash in one of the rooms upstairs.” As for the marriage: “Though we decided not to announce it yet, we were officially separated” and later divorced.

This same player attended a Rush concert at Madison Square Garden in the 80s, a guest in the box of the record company that managed the group. The President of Atlantic Records said he observed the tennis player consumed more lines than anyone he ever saw anyone in the music industry ever do.

This intimidating American former no. 1 and US Open champ verbally abused players in the locker room over personal conflicts, reducing both the young Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic to tears after matches.

The former lazy, undisciplined Brit has turned his career around and is now a top player. But in his early ATP days he was a rebellious sort at odds with the LTA, once even going as far as to flaunt his party boy ways by sending a photo of himself to an LTA official, with a half dozen prostitutes in a hot tub. This act cost him a wildcard into Wimbledon, according to another Brit doubles specialist.

How about the aforementioned former no. 1 from Chile who pushed a female out of his car – while driving. The same guy ran over his physio with a golf cart.

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  • catherine · November 7, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Scoop – if that’s an Aussie tradition I’m a bar of soap. Someone’s pulling your leg.

    There’s such a thing as security At Wimbledon. And isn’t the net removed overnight ?

    But I can tell you a true story from Aussie cricket – who could finish off the most cans of beer (‘tinnies’) on a flight from Sydney to London? Tennis pros are such puritans 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 7, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Catherine, amazingly it’s true. Got it from an Aussie who knows. Aussie rebel spirit never dies. Remember the story I posted about Newcombe tricking Stan Smith with the fake injury to reverse fortune in their five set Wimbledon final?

  • catherine · November 8, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Scoop – back in the day there was a big drinking culture in Aust tennis so I wouldn’t believe everything you’re told. The answer to the beers drunk was around 55. No doubt the very famous player involved was poured off the plane on arrival.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 8, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Catherine, Aussie humor is very unique. I am certain my source is honest and was telling truth. As recently as Rafter the Aussies would go out drinking, Rafter told me he’d try to invite the young Federer to join the gang and have some fun. I put the anecdotes in my Facing Federer book. Yes, Sampras said in one video interview I saw that he would be interested to coach a certain player, certain situation, not just anyone of course. And Djokovic certainly would be an interesting proposition for Sampras to consider, were it to ever happen. Verdasco, Annacone, Fognini have three coaches each, so a three man coaching staff is not unheard of. Djokovic with Goran, Vajda and Sampras would be the all time all star coaching staff.

  • catherine · November 8, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Scoop – I’m your sure your source was telling the truth as he heard it but of course it depends on the condition of the individuals concerned 🙂

    I grew up in Australia so the humour and drinking habits are familiar to me. Of course sportspeople are all squeaky clean these days. Much healthier but a certain kind of cameraderie has been lost. However – that photo last year of Ash Barty at a footy match swigging beer from a large plastic cup did bring back some memories.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 8, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Catherine, yes they all have squeaky clean images and they all say the right things, but the true bad boy spirit still exists, they just disguise it better ) Fognini, Sandgren, Kyrgios, Evans, are still out there creating mayhem once in a while.

  • Bob · November 9, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Bermuda Open had never been won by an Argentinian.

    P.S. Also very sceptical about the alleged AUS pissing tradition, but yes, good story, keep them coming.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Thanks Bob, will do. Bermuda exhibition tournament, not an ATP tournament. Back in 2000s. I would be skeptical about that Aussie peeing tradition too but the source who told me, my senses tell me, was absolutely serious in a jovial way. Yes I know some things are hard to believe…



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