Tags: Agnieszka Radwanska, Andrea Petkovic, Australian Open, Friday 10 to 1, Hisense Arena, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova, Michael Llodra, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams
Tennis is a sport of precision, focus and timing. So when one or more of these elements are off, or go missing, it sticks out a mile, with often hilarious results. This Friday we take you through a countdown of the 10 best bloopers in tennis.
10. Sharapova fails at emulating Federer
Roger Federer is perhaps the most gifted player ever to pick up a tennis racquet. And this view was cemented when he not once, but twice, served with such precision that he knocked a bottle from atop a man’s head. Quite the party trick. A video of this feat scored hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits, and inspired many. This included Maria Sharapova, who thought it a fun idea to try and emulate the feat with Novak Djokovic as her guinea pig. From Novak’s reaction, it’s clear Sharapova didn’t quite pull it off.
9. Serena’s shockers
Serena Williams’ power is a sight to behold, and God help hapless opponents on the receiving end of a crushing ace, brutal forehand, or killer smash. But when those weapons go awry, it can look pretty disastrous. And quite entertaining at the same time – Serena’s penchant for dramatic, theatrical reactions make these errors an even bigger event. Check out the point beginning at the 2:38 minute-mark of the Greta Arn video, and against Maria Sharapova, when she serves at 8:50.
8. Jankovic’s awkward underwear
Seriously, what was Jelena Jankovic thinking? She could have left the court, changed underwear and returned in half the time it took her to attempt this mangled, tangled attempt at a coquettish costume change, courtside at Roland Garros with half the world watching, no less. Yet never one to shy away from showmanship, JJ minces the moment and, not surprisingly, entertains the crowd.
7. Petkovic takes a time-out
Ever played a tennis match where your opponent simply disappears for no apparent reason? That’s exactly what happened to Agnieszka Radwanska, when her opponent Andrea Petkovic sprinted off court mid-game in the semifinals of the WTA event in Carlsbad in 2011. The German left Radwanska, the umpire and fans bewildered for several minutes – reportedly as she went for a quick vom-vom – before returning to court and resuming as if nothing happened. The detoxifying purge ultimately proved futile – she went on to lose in three.
6. Sharapova takes a tumble
Always composed, focused and immaculately presented, Sharapova was no doubt unaccustomed to the position she found herself in against Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals of the 2011 Rome Masters. Cow on ice, perhaps?
5. Llodra and ball girl collide
Also taking a bit of a tumble was Frenchman Michael Llodra, who at Wimbledon 2009 over-zealously chased down a ball and created a potentially catastrophic outcome. But luckily for those involved, all it took was a quick brush-down and a reassuring hug to restore order and get back to business on Court No.1.
4. Llodra kills a bird
Llodra just can’t stay out of trouble, can he? Before he was toppling ballkids, he was creating problems for wildlife, as a poor unsuspecting bird found out during the 2002 Australian Open doubles semifinals. Obviously unintentional on Llodra’s part, the players then paid their respects with an impromptu little funeral for the feathered victim.
3. Radwanska’s rickety racquet
We’re getting into the upper echelons of our countdown now, so be prepared to see some stuff that we’re certain will NEVER happen again. Like what occurred with Agnieszka Radwanska’s racquet at the Australian Open. Her reaction as her racquet literally flew off the handle is priceless, as is no doubt the reaction of fans when an errant racquet head came hurtling at them in the stands.
2. Dead spot on Hisense Arena
In spite of its widely held reputation as the most highly organised and best-run tennis tournament in the world, the Australian Open has thrown up some pretty hilarious and unscripted moments in its time. Yet Llodra’s bird battering and Radwanska’s crazy racquet bloopers find it tough to beat THIS in the bizarre stakes. If you’re not sure how this could possibly happen after watching the first video, the second offers a plausible scientific explanation.
1. Roger and Rafa cracking up
This represents “blooper” in the truest sense of the word. Simply watch, and enjoy.