Who Are The Most Annoying Players?

By Dan Markowitz

My first nominee for “The most Annoying Player” is Caroline Wozniaki aka The Woz. I don’t know, I just find her tremendously annoying. Maybe I could come up with a better description for her? When she came on the scene she seemed to be cool, and there’s still a cool part about her, I mean she’s got an apartment in NYC, her fiancee is David Lee. That’s kind of cool. She looks great in a bikini. Still, why do I find her so…annoying?

Ok, she has this look on her face when she plays like she’s sucking a lemon.
Her game is the most excruciating combination of being a backboard and just getting everything back and just running everything down.
Her posture when she’s returning serve is hunched back and she looks like a beaver. I’m not saying she’s not attractive, she is and yet she’s still so…annoying.
Her father is always in her coaching box. His name is Piotr, that’s an annoying name. Isn’t it time she stopped having her father coach her?
Finally, Caroline is a bit of a whiner, complaining about the fans in Miami and how they treated her family poorly and now she’s got rhuematoid arthritis, I mean if that’s not an annoying affliction what is? and she’s dated like every athlete out there, she’s become the new Hingis, but really I just find watching her play…annoying.

Do you have any other nominees? David Ferrer, (I used to find watching Andy Roddick annoying), Jeff Tarango for sure, Ilie Nastase, Halep at times, come on, use your imagination.

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  • Douglas Day · April 6, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Nerdy guys; Berdych, Ronic. Bautista Agut’s names and mincing walk. Rafa’s tics are way up there of course. Vika’s screams, Serena’s outfits, Jokers pre-serve, unending bouncing. And lastly not playing the lets. Lifes too short for dead points from dueces too. Go big or go home.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 6, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    I like Wozniacki, she’s a nice person, always nice to interview, like her style of play too, she battles to the last ball. She’s starting to fade now but still she had a fantastic career, one major title and the world no. 1 ranking. Not bad for an alleged “pusher.”

  • Dan Markowitz · April 7, 2019 at 1:22 am

    I don’t know, maybe she is a nice person and she’s in the finals of Charleston, but her style of play has never appealed to me.

  • catherine · April 7, 2019 at 2:06 am

    ‘Annoying’ Wozniaki has reached the final in Charleston – meets Keys. Caroline says she’s benefitted from tips from Francesca Schiavone through the tournament on clay court play.

    In Monterrey I’d have lost on Kerber v Azarenka. Vika leads their H2H and it turned out that way again. Punishing aggressive play from her – Angie played well, 2 sets all and then gave it up 1-6 in the 3rd. 40 UEs – too many. Azarenka looked the stronger. Not the first time Angie’s faded in the 3rd set. I think it’s mental. Perhaps she’s thinking about winning.

    I don’t know. Sometimes when she talks upbeat and how much she enjoys the tournament, her friends, fans, location etc you wonder if the social life is taking her attention from the court. Take a really boring place, no distractions, Wimbledon for example, and Angie can stay focussed. But then in Monterrey maybe Vika was just better and more motivated.

  • catherine · April 7, 2019 at 2:57 am

    No hawkeye in Monterrey – a few line disputes. WTA should make hawkeye or similar mandatory for a sanctioned event.

    Oh and Kerber took a bathroom break like she did v Collins. I haven’t seen her do that in the past.

  • Hartt · April 7, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I don’t always enjoy Woznaicki’s style of play, but when she is even a little more aggressive than usual, she can be fun to watch. I thought she played well in this match, even trying a tweener!

  • catherine · April 7, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Hartt – that’s Frannie’s influence 🙂

  • catherine · April 7, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Back in Monterrey – where was Schuettler ? Didn’t see him at all. Don’t tell me Angie’s got the chopper out already.

    Or maybe he didn’t take this tournament seriously. Or maybe Angie didn’t.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 7, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Catherine, you think Wimbledon and London are boring? Might be the most distracting event outside US Open. Unless the player stays locked up in a home in Wimbledon village where it is nice but awfully crowded during the tournament. Azarenka just beat her this time, two weeks Kerber could win their next match.

  • catherine · April 7, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I jest a little Scoop. I happen to think Wimbledon and surrounds is incredibly boring, probably because I lived there for a few years (not the part the players would ever see) and it’s possible to live in any London neighbourhood without ever going up to Town, which is expensive and thronging. Kerber, like many top players, stayed in a house last year. I expect she will this year.

    As for Vika, she leads their H2H 8-1 so that’s a big hill for Angie to climb. Their games are alike and Angie can’t break the pattern. If I were her coach I’d be worried about those 3rd set collapses. Hsieh in Dubai ? Andreescu ? Azarenka ? Where’s Schuettler and what’s he doing for her ?

  • Thomas Tung · April 7, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Hmm … I struggle to think of anyone (and yes, that includes casual park/club players as well) that I found “annoying” to watch. Boring, yes (as in, if I see on the US Open drawsheet that they’re playing, I’ll pass over their match in favor of others), but annoying? Very much not. Even someone like the infamous Daniel Koellerer (Crazy Dani) was “amusing” to watch, I suppose (never saw him live, so there is that).

    Maybe, very maybe, “irritating”, if I feel that some player isn’t making the adjustments they need against another player on the tennis court. But not “annoying”, no.

    Somewhat annoying to play with/against? Well, there was this one guy who made it a habit to take his returns of serve at or around the service line, but I never took that personally — it wasn’t illegal, and I guess he had to do what he had to do; I got along with him fine. I also had difficulties, play-wise, with a guy who many labeled a “pusher” (never beat him), but I liked his play (never felt that it was “illegitimate” or “cheap”) and the way he carried himself. We’ve fallen out of touch (this was over 15 years ago), but I still think of him as a good acquaintance or “tennis friend”.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 8, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Thanks for your input, Thomas. Yes, “annoying” is a word filled with a lot of loaded language and feelings. It includes spite, distaste and repugnancy. But what I was getting at with Wozniaki is she plays such a retriever game it seems even when she goes for a winner she’s playing a somewhat defensive shot.

    And then there’s the way that she holds herself her shoulders up by her ears and how she still at 28 years old has daddy in her box (which on some accounts knowing the charged relationship players have with their parents is admirable); that’s what I find “annoying.”

    But I find a number of players annoying. Like my son was playing in a tournament this weekend on Long Island and one of the kids in the tournament, who I’ve seen around for a while now, pumps his fist after every winning shot he makes or shot he makes that induces an error. I wouldn’t mind this so much if he was a very good player, but he’s not.

    And both his parents dressed very spiffily always come to his matches and are very supportive. And the kid fashions himself as a dude with the latest Nike wear and his cap on backwards with his brown locks coming out from under the cap. When I told my son that I thought the kid is annoying he said the boy is a nice boy, but I still find him annoying. Granted, if he was a top-ranked kid I might not find him so annoying, but pumping your fist all the time when you’re not that good, that’s annoying.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 8, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Respect all the players who make it to the top 500, even more the ones in the top 100, they are all miracles to get to this point. But some are boring or frustrating to watch. Some just play unintelligent mindless stupid tennis, bashing from the baseline, no concept of thinking or variety or trying to change a losing gameplan. Some players play with a boring robot zero passion mindset which looks like they don’t care but of course they do care. Thebest players for me are the ones who have major intensity, major passion, use emotional adrenaline, who would die on the court to try to win a tough important point. Solme players are super competitive incredible fighters but they mask it with total focus and concentration – Borg and Moya come to mind. I found Davenport dull to watch but she was obviously a great champion who I found out later loved the sport, just loved to play it so much as a kid. You could see that only in her slight smile in her serve toss.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 8, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Dan, if the kid is not good, he has to have some reason to pump his fist, give him credit for staying positive and fighting hard even if he’s not good. For many players even great players, tennis is about trying to annoy the opponent in subtle ways. Even a great player like Coria would do this. He liked to annoy opponents, make fun of them on court, use gamesmanship, etc. Even when he became a great junior he kept on doing it. Even as a pro when he became a top ten pro he still kept on insulting and mocking opponents on the court. He didn’t have to but something in his nature kept him doing it. It was his pleasure I guess. Then the players revolted and started to spread rumors that they slept with his wife. I think a lot of players, even top players do little things to annoy and piss off opponents. Fake injuries, fake cramps, ball bouncing, grunting, fake arguments with chair umpires, fist pumps at box, yelling come on, playing fast, playing slow, changing racquets, tying shoe laces, catching serve toss, yelling allez, giving the racquet to the ballkid to play, talking to the crowd, asking the ballkid to get him three cans of beer – as Karsten Braasch did at the Tampa tournament in 1991. Smoking cigarettes on changeovers – as Karsten Braasch did at the Tampa tournament in 91 against Agassi.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 9, 2019 at 10:36 am


    What I took umbrage with was the way the kid looked out to his parents all the time to pump his fist and how he pumped on every point he was winning. I don’t like my son looking out to me during matches either to complain or celebrate unless it’s a very big point or moment in the match. To do it all the time, and I tell my son this, I think is annoying.

    If you’re not that good, like this other boy, I find it annoying when a kid is always pumping his fist. Get good before you pump your fist else you look like a jerk in my eyes. Maybe spend more time practicing rather than pumping your fist and you’ll get better.

    Look people get upset over things other people do not. My son and his partner were playing older and bigger kids in the Empire Cup doubles finals this weekend and one of the parents of my son’s opponent, referred to my son and his partner as “pesky.” My wife thought that was insulting and I guess it could be taken as so.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 9, 2019 at 10:48 am

    You have to respect this kid’s fighting spirit and though he’s not a very good player as you say, he’s trying to motivate himself and manufacture emotional adrenaline which could help him play better. He’s giving it everything he’s got. Gotta respect that. As Mary Pierce said in my book Facing Serena/Steffi, sometimes the most talented and impressive juniors don’t make it and the ones who don’t look so good, DO make it. What was the score that Cal beat this kid?

  • Dan Markowitz · April 11, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I think we’re talking about two different things. Yes, as you say, it’s a positive for a player who’s struggling or just not that good, to try to right himself by showing some emotion and pumping himself up. But I feel this boy goes over the line and it’s the combination of these incessant shows of emotion–it’s like crying wolf, if you’re always calling out even when the situation is not so crucial then your displays of emotion lose their affect–coupled with the fact that the kid is dressed way too nicely for the level of his game. I can’t help it, maybe it’s the rich kids I don’t like on the junior tour, but it’s especially the rich kids who wear the latest and most expensive and flashy clothes who aren’t too good, but still carry themselves with a smugness who I find myself really not liking.

    Callum hasn’t played this boy in a couple of years, but the one time he did play him he beat him 1 and 3 if memory serves me right.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 11, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Wearing all the new hot shot clothes and shoes is a sign of a player that doesn’t impress. It’s not about being the best dressed or coolest. The players that wear a t shirt or whatever or their own original style with no name brands impress the most.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 12, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Yes, but juniors in the East at least wear fancy expensive clothes because a> their parents have money and b> they think they win a couple of extra points by psyching out their opponent who they think–and maybe they do–“Geez, this kid is wearing the latest Nike kit, he must be real good.”



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