ATP World Tour: Top 5 Racket Smashes

January 20, 2012 by staff 

ATP World Tour: Top 5 Racket Smashes, In the midst of intense competition and struggle, tennis is undeniably a sport controlled by the rapid influx of ups and downs. The inherent will and desire that exists within players at all levels leaves plenty to be desired on the courts.

Whether it be the first round of a local junior tournament or the Wimbledon finals, emotions have the unfortunate potential of determining a match.

Of this, there is no question.

At times, exterior displays of anger and disappointment let you know when an individual is succumbing to the pressure of the moment. In other instances, the self-dismay may be thawing and poisoning one’s resolution inside.

A spectacular example of this is the 2011 US Open Semifinals. After blowing two match points against Novak Djokovic, the end result became inevitable for Roger Federer.

Anyone watching the match knew that Federer’s mental gas tank was empty.

In the following slideshow, I am going to highlight these outward broadcasts of anger. You are about to see what happens when fury and irritation transforms into uncontrollable rage.

So without further adieu, lets take a closer look at the top five racket smashes from the ATP World Tour.

1. Marat Safin
Marat Safin may be one of the biggest underachievers in tennis history. The guy had about as much talent as anyone. Regrettably for Safin, his two grand slams titles undoubtedly should have been more.

In my estimation, the primary reason for his relative lack of success in relation to his potential is due to his uncontrollable temper.

Now to his ultimate racket smash.

I had initially browsed YouTube looking for the end-all be-all of Marat Safin’s racket smashes. As you may expect, it was not easy. As a result of all Safin’s racket smashes being so great, I decided to just present you with an eight minute clip that perfectly demonstrates all of the rage that Safin possessed.

Please—and I warn you—do not try this at home kids.

2. Kristof Vliegen
The only reason why this particular tantrum resonates strongly in my memory is because I witnessed it live.

This smash came from a second-round match in the 2009 Masters Series 1000 event in Monte Carlo.

To give you some background on Vliegen—since he is a relatively unfamiliar player—he is a journeyman from Belgium who reached a career high ranking of No. 30 in October of 2006. He never made a significant breakthrough at a major, but after watching this video, you will assuredly remember the German.

In the context of the match, Ljubicic and Vliegen had been battling neck and neck for the course of two-and-a-half a sets when the Croat reached a breaking point at 4-4 on Vliegen’s serve.

After spraying a forehand deep, the fireworks commenced.

Vliegen smashed his racket to such an extent that—as you can see from the video—the head separated from the handle. Despite the obnoxious nature of this outburst, you can see how much this match meant to Vliegen.

Defeating a former Top Five player to advance to the third round of Masters Series event would have meant a lot, but unfortunately, Ljubicic held serve and closed out the match.

3. Fernando Gonzalez
Fernando Gonzalez has been dubbed in the minds of many as a bad boy of the tennis world. Whether it be smashing his rackets or smashing the balls at other players, Gonzalez has allowed his rage to manifest itself in various forms.

In this video, I can’t believe Gonzo is upset over failure of meeting his purported expectations for this match: He is playing Federer.

It is more likely that Gonzalez is upset over double faulting. Simply thinking about double faulting brings me great pain. So, as I would imagine, throwing in a “double” against Federer must be beyond aggravating.

This video is one of many that you will find of Gonzalez using his racket as a mechanism of releasing frustration.

4. Roger Federer
Roger Federer is absolutely the last person anyone would expect to be on this list. Federer is widely known for maintaining a tranquil, undisturbed nature throughout the course of every match. Many commentators have said that Federer would be a great poker player because he rarely represents the emotions he is feeling.

In this video above, Federer misses a sitter forehand down 0-2 in the third set against Novak Djokovic at the Master Series 1000 event in Miami. It is important to remember that this match comes several months following Federer’s devastating five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open Final.

Following this match, Federer expressed that he was really looking forward to the end of the hard-court season and for the commencement of the clay-court season—a truly rare expression of conceit from the Swiss.

5. Dmitry Tursunov
This one is a classic. Dmitry Tursunov is taking on Juan Ignacio Chela at Indian Wells in 2008. After squandering match point on three separate occasions and dropping the second set, Tursunov fell behind match point at 5-4 on Chela’s serve.

After a medium length rally, Tursnov misses a forehand and proceeds to break his racket. But not as you would expect.

Instead of arbitrarily throwing the racket to the ground with as much force as possible, Tursunov breaks the racket with his knee.

This really was a great change of pace from Tursunov, and I am sure it must have hurt as well.

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