The Beyond The Baseline awards are our look back at the best — and worst — of the tennis season. Today we look at the biggest meltdowns of the 2013 season, led by Viktor Troicki’s epic tantrum at the Italian Open. Click here for our complete archive of year-end awards.
1. Viktor Troicki at the Italian Open: “There is no space!!”
A tantrum that even Ernests Gulbis thinks has crossed the line is something truly special. In the second round of the Italian Open, Troicki hit a shot on break point that sailed out, as confirmed by the chair umpire. Troicki vehemently disagreed, launching into a near-four minute diatribe at the Italian Open was equal parts stand-up comedy and genuine tantrum.
2. Jerzy Janowicz at the Australian Open: “How many times?!?!”
No meltdown was as visceral as Janowicz’s in the second round of the Australian Open, which gave us both a new tennis catchphrase and a remix:
3. Richard Gasquet throws his socks at the U.S. Open.
After dropping the first set in the fourth round against Milos Raonic, Gasquet released his frustration by chucking his socks onto the court. The fact that he had to go pick them up like a disgruntled teenager made the situation even better.
4. Fabio Fognini plays the worst game of tennis to lose at the Western & Southern Open.
Serving at 4-5 in the second set, Fognini double-faults, double-faults again, hits a ball out of the stadium, receives a point penalty and then double-faults again to give the match to Radek Stepanek, who didn’t have to touch the ball once in the final game.
5. Mikhail Youzhny melts down (again) at the French Open.
There’s no shame in losing to Tommy Haas, but don’t tell Youzhny that. He went simply ballistic on his racket after losing 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to the No. 12 Haas in the fourth round. The good news is that this time he didn’t draw blood:
6. Novak Djokovic cusses out the Madrid crowd.
The crowd at the Madrid Open was vocally antagonistic towards Djokovic during much of his second-round match against Grigor Dimitrov. So when the Serb came back to take the second set in a tiebreaker, he released his frustration towards them, screaming some pretty graphic obscenities their way in Serbian. The outburst didn’t help, since Djokovic went on to lose 7-6 (6), 6-7 (10), 6-3.
7. Victoria Azarenka vs. Mariana Alvez at the Madrid Open: “How are you still on the bench after all you’ve done?”
Azarenka wasn’t playing her best tennis against Ekaterina Makarova in the second round of the Madrid Open, and her irritation caused her to lose her cool with the chair umpire, Mariana Alvez. Tied with Makarova 3-3 in the third set, Azarenka angrily broke her racket for (unbeknownst to her) her second code violation of the match, resulting in a point penalty. She proceeded to air her grievances to Alvez, the controversial chair umpire whose bad call during the 2004 U.S. Open led to the introduction of Hawk-Eye. She then went on to lose the last three games of the match.
8. Serena Williams lets it out at the Australian Open.
En route to her loss to Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals, Serena couldn’t withhold her frustration any longer, unleashing a spectacular racket smash-and-toss.
9. Ernests Gulbis goes mental in Monte Carlo.
Gulbis was coming off a great hard court season but found himself down to Juan Monaco in Monte Carlo, having lost the first seven games of the match. Thus began a slow-burning meltdown that featured two racket smashes and punting a ball into the stands, ending in a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 loss.
10. David Ferrer loses his cool at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Screaming in anguish, smashing rackets and altogether struggling to keep his focus in his season-ending match against Stanislas Wawrinka, it was an uncharacteristic way for Ferrer to end his season.