A lot of people here complain about behaviour on the court (COME ON, VAMOS, the breaking of rackets, fist pumps,...) and I've seen some people react that they prefer tennis the old style.
Well, most of these current "bad boys" are real sweethearts compared to the old days. Back then, they could get away with a lot more but the rules have become more strict and some wonder if they have become too strict?
Our five favorite explosive players in tennis history:
1. Ilie Nastase "Nasty," who ranked No. 1 from Aug. 23, 1973, to June 2, 1974, habitually baited opponents and was probably the most lewd player in history. He was fined for all manner of offenses, including tanking a match in 1975.
Signature moment: His ejection from the 1976 Palm Springs event after mooning referee Charlie Hare.
2. Pancho Gonzalez Considered the preeminent player of the 1950s and the sport's biggest name until the Open era, he raged against opponents, officials, reporters and even spectators. "We hoped he wouldn't get upset; it just made him tougher," Rod Laver once said.
Signature moment: He once threw a chair at a tournament referee. It missed, and Gonzalez escaped punishment.
3. John McEnroe The tennis virtuoso was also "SuperBrat," a pit bull-like intimidator of officials who also tried to psyche out opponents. During a doubles match in the 1981 Davis Cup finals at Riverfront Coliseum, he nearly came to blows at the net with Argentina's Jose-Luis Clerc.
Signature moment: His blowup at chair umpire Ted James - calling him "the pits of the world" - during a 1981 Wimbledon victory over Tom Gullikson. Another phrase in McEnroe's tirade, "You cannot be serious!" became the title of his autobiography.
4. Jimmy Connors McEnroe's chief foil delighted in the black-hat role for much of his career. He matured and became a beloved figure, especially during his run to the 1991 U.S. Open semifinals at age 39.
Signature moment: Enraged by umpire Jeremy Shales' line calls in a 1986 semifinal against Ivan Lendl in Key Biscayne, Connors refused to play the fifth set and defaulted.
5. Marat Safin This tempestuous 25-year-old Russian has an unofficial world record for most rackets broken. His anger is usually self-focused, but he's not afraid to gripe at umpires.
Signature moment: He celebrated his drop-shot winner in a victory over Felix Mantilla at the 2004 French Open by pulling down his shorts, earning a point penalty.
Source: Where are the bad boys of tennis?
Another quote from the article:
Ilie Nastase's antics in the 1970s and '80s are said to have inspired a set of behavior rules nicknamed "the Nastase Act."
James Blake was talking about the declining number of temperamental tennis players. Just then, on the TV in front of him, Andy Roddick spiked his racket.
Said Blake: "There's still a few of them left."
A generation removed from the tennis boom of the 1970s, a period some revere as the sport's heyday, there are few explosive personalities like those that populated - and polluted - that era.
Rules changes legislated because of the antics of such players as Ilie Nastase and Jimmy Connors eventually restored order, though occasional player blowups and the obligatory Marat Safin racket toss still show up on "SportsCenter." What's debatable is whether kinder, gentler tennis has affected fan interest.
"The crowds may miss (the outbursts) a bit," tennis historian/analyst Bud Collins said. "Sometimes it can be amusing, but other times, when it gets profane, there's no need for it."
It's clear the hotheads of the 1970s and '80s became larger-than-life personalities. Fans used to anticipate a John McEnroe match, for instance, in part because they never knew what he might do.
Nowadays, the game's top draws largely emote in positive directions. Think of Andre Agassi's kisses blown to the crowd, Roddick's passionate cries and Rafael Nadal's fist pumps.
"Maybe people aren't as excited to see two guys play who just hit it back and forth," veteran American player Vince Spadea said. "People pay good money to see tennis and they want to see a show. Hopefully the show is good tennis."
The first major tennis outlaw was Pancho Gonzalez, who terrorized opponents and officials from the late 1940s until about 1970. Tennis was vastly different then, and much of Gonzalez's career was spent barnstorming with a handful of other professionals. The fiery American went largely unpunished for his antics.
Earl Cochell, a top-10 U.S. player, was banned for life - an unprecedented penalty - after verbally abusing a referee in the 1951 U.S. Open. Yet there were no written conduct standards when the Open era began in 1968.
Until 1985, most tournaments used local umpires, which often resulted in home-court advantages for native sons - and arguments from opponents.
The sport's Code of Conduct, adopted in 1974 by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, included provisions for disqualifications for on-court behavior. Collins calls it "the Nastase Act," saying it was inspired by the Romanian rebel.
The man known as "Nasty" famously mooned a referee, threw a shoe at a baseline judge who kept calling foot faults, and even changed his shirt and his shorts on court during a U.S. Open match. Nastase was disqualified from some matches and quit in protest during others - though he occasionally was persuaded by tournament officials to continue.
His most famous DQ didn't stick. Umpire Frank Hammond threw Nastase out of a 1979 U.S. Open match against McEnroe for continually arguing, but when fans nearly rioted in protest, tournament director Bill Talbert removed Hammond from the chair and reinstated Nastase. McEnroe still won.
"Ilie enjoyed (outbursts); that was part of his shtick," ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale said. "He would intentionally get guys riled up on the court. He was really the dawn of the bad boys."
McEnroe and Connors then took the baton. The Code of Conduct allowed three violations before a disqualification, and McEnroe once bragged, "I'm an old pro. I (come) within one word of a default, but I always know what I'm doing."
Enforcement of the rules gradually increased, and in 1990 DQs were moved up from the fourth violation to the third. McEnroe became the first casualty when ejected from a 1990 Australian Open match against Mikael Pernfors, later saying he hadn't heard about the rules change.
Today's stars sometimes face penalties or fines for minor misdeeds, such as breaking a racket. Safin, for one, struggles with the tight reins.
"When you are working with a pulse of 180 and you are losing, of course it's difficult to control ... yourself," he said.
Nastase, in 1994, criticized tennis for its crackdowns: "Everyone today plays the same way, very dull. ... It is a pity there are no characters like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors or, maybe, Ilie Nastase today."
Drysdale, who said he's glad rules exist, fears they constrict players a bit.
"I would like to see our officials let the guys be a little more expressive," he said. "Not go overboard, not into the expletives, but a little more expressive."
Incidents still happen, and not just when fiery players like Safin or Lleyton Hewitt are playing. Even Agassi, the genteel elder statesman, has earned two disqualifications: in Indianapolis in 1996 and San Jose in '99. Agassi got away with only a fine after spitting on umpire Wayne McKewan's shoes and pants in the 1990 U.S. Open.
These guys (I played with), they knew they were crazy," said Guillermo Vilas, a world No. 2 in the 1970s. "With how the game was, you saw it (play out). But these guys today could be crazier than we are. We just don't see it on the court."
What do you guys think? It's good that there are rules, but are the current ones too strict?