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7 of the most controversial tennis players of all time

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Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi. Photo/GQ
  • Novak Djokovic isn’t the most controversial tennis players of all time
  • His deportation from Australia and COVID-19 refusal only show how complicated he is
  • But, there are other tennis veterans who left  a mark of controversy in the game

If you thought world No.1 Novak Djokovic is the most controversial tennis players of all time, you are wrong.

In addition to their talent, many great tennis players have wowed the crowd with a succession of bizarre incidents that had nothing to do with their abilities. Players like these have sparked more debate than any other group in the history of the sport.

And the controversies surrounding them are usually as big as their names are. But, who are they?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Monte Carlo Masters. Photo/Sports Mole

The list of the most controversial tennis players of all time has to start with Djokovic following his Australian Open drama. It ended up in his deportation.

The Serbian refused to get a COVID-19 jab which was among the reasons why he failed to defend his Australian Open title in 2022.

He then withdrew from the Indian Well and Miami Open citing strict Covid-19 regulations in the US.

JOHN MCENROE

As far as the most controversial tennis players of all time, John McEnroe is the best example.

He has a history of frequent outbursts, which he used to either drain his fury, distract his opponent or both during the course of his career, which is why he is considered one of the most frenetic players of all time.

In the process, he’s earned a reputation as one of the most divisive athletes in tennis history. To frighten the chair umpire, the unstoppable “Big Mac” yelled insults and questioned his judgments during great matches against luminaries Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg.

JIMMY CONNORS

Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors. Photo/Tennis World

With eight Grand Slam victories to his name and pioneering two-handed backhands, Connors is a player with the most winning personality of all time.

But his competitive nature always turned him into a wrath machine. He raged against the umpire, the fans, and anybody who stood in his way, producing a beast that polarised the public into loves and foes.

With McEnroe, Connors starred in one of the most thrilling rivalries in tennis history. He’s now one of the most controversial tennis players of all time.

ANDRE AGASSI

Not only was he one of the greatest tennis players in history, but a showman as well who helped popularise the sport in the 1990s.

Andre Agassi had incredible racquet skills and eight Grand Slam victories to his name.

Unfortunately, he went down in history as one of the most controversial tennis players of all time, and for good reason. In his memoirs, Agassi revealed his true colours in addition to the bright clothing and laid-back demeanour that were on display while he competed.

When he opened up about his drug use, lying, and general discontent with his life, he showed a disturbing side of himself that had previously been hidden from the public eye.

DANIEL KOELLERER

When he was found guilty of three charges of match-fixing, he became the first tennis player ever to be banished from the sport for life because of his involvement.

In the days that followed his dismissal from the organisation, he made a series of heated remarks in which he accused ATP of acting like an organised crime syndicate.

In addition, he accused Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer of doping and heavy smoking, respectively.

As a result, match-fixing is rampant in this sport, he claimed. In a matter of seconds, he found himself in the centre of one of the greatest tennis scandals in history.

In addition, he’s now one of the most controversial tennis players of all time, according to the list compiled by ESPN.

MICHAEL CHANG

Michael Chang

Michael Chang. Photo/ The Telegraph

There is a good chance you have heard of this former tennis player because of the controversy he caused because of his ability to confuse many of his opponents.

Chang’s first Grand Slam title came against Ivan Lendl in the final of the Roland Garros tournament. He was down two sets to nothing in this epic encounter, but he came back with a bang.

It’s all down to his incredible abilities and the ability to put his opponent out of his head.

He would begin to hit slow looping returns, which he called “moonballs.”. That allowed him to take a 4-3 lead in the last set and transform the Philippe Chatrier court into a twilight zone.

ANDY RODDICK

He’s the last American Grand Slam champion. In addition, he made it all the way to the finals of every major tournament. He’s known for his devastating weaponry, which makes him nearly impossible to take down.

Roddick, however, is best remembered for his erratic temperament, not for his tremendous skills or sweaty cap.

He could become stronger and slam his opponent, or he could get distracted and stupidly receive penalty points, insult the chair umpire, lose to anyone, or maliciously make fun of the line umpire.

So much so, that he’s now among the most controversial tennis players of all time.

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