10 weirdest moments in tennis history
Jon Henderson - The Observer
1. MIXED SINGLES
New York 1960-1977
When Renee Richards stepped on to court to play Virginia Wade at the 1977 US Open she was making her debut in the women's singles - 17 years after she, or rather he, had made his debut in the men's singles. In 1975, Richards had a sex-change operation and the Richard H. Raskind who competed at the 1960 US Open became Renee Richards, who, after a ruling by the New York State Superior Court, took part in the same tournament - but different singles - in 1977. One thing remained unaltered though - the American transsexual's tennis playing ability. Raskind lost his first-round match in straight sets, and so did Richards.
2. WIFE WHO SLAPPED THE UMPIRE
Jeff Tarango was known to flip more easily than a Zippo lighter, but he really excelled himself on this occasion - and so did his wife, Benedicte. The Californian was playing Alexander Mronz and was upset when a serve he thought was an ace was called out. When the crowd barracked him and he told them to shut up, the umpire, Bruno Rebeuh, issued a code violation, which really got Tarango going. He raged at Rebeuh and then stormed off, defaulting the match, after announcing: 'You are the most corrupt official. I'm not playing any more.' As Rebeuh made his way back to the changing room, he encountered Benedicte, who slapped him. Later she defended her action and said: 'If Jeff had done it, he would have been put out of tennis.'
3. WHEN ARMSTRONG STEPPED ON MCENROE
Forget all the other John McEnroe outbursts - 'You cannot be serious' and the rest - this one topped the lot. It was the Australian Open and an agitated McEnroe was playing the Swede Mikael Pernfors. He collected an early warning for intimidating a lineswoman and was docked a point for smashing a racket. He thought he had one life left - the deduction of a game - but had miscalculated. He'd probably have been chucked out anyway for his next offence, an instruction to the tournament supervisor Ken Farrar to, 'Just go fuck your mother.' Within moments, Gerry Armstrong, the British umpire, was announcing: 'Verbal abuse, audible obscenity, Mr McEnroe. Default. Game, set and match, Pernfors.' And McEnroe's response? 'I can't say I'm surprised. It was bound to happen.'
The complete list can be found clicking here