There really is no love lost in tennis it seems…
In what might be the most crassly spoken sentence ever formed on a tennis court, Aussie bad boy Nick Krygios told Stan Wawrinka, "Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate."
Swiss champ Wawrinka has since taken to Twitter to address the comments, posting “What was said I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. To stop [sic] so low is not only unacceptable but also beyond belief.”
Meanwhile, Krygios has been defending his remarks: "He was getting a bit lippy with me. Kind of in the heat of the moment, I don't know, I just said it.”
Not that he’s the only sportsman to have crossed the line with a poor piece of sledging.
Here are 10 of the worst offenders.
Sean Avery to Dion Phanuef
This isn’t the first time a sportsman’s beau has been the subject of sledging. In late 2008, a hockey player for The New York Rangers, Sean Avery, was suspended for four games after making comments to then-Calgary Flames opponent Dion Phanuef about dating his ex, actress Elisha Cuthbert, calling her his "sloppy seconds.” Surely he knew he was skating on thin ice after that one.
Andre Agassi to Pete Sampras
Nor is it the first time things got personal on a tennis court. When former rivals Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi faced off once more for charity – we repeat, for charity – alongside Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras at Indian Wells, it didn’t take long for the pair to start settling old scores. After Sampras imitated his rival’s ‘pigeon-walk’, Agassi responded by making a joke about Pistol Pete’s alleged indifference to tipping, something he’d already made a jibe at in his autobiography. Like a unhappy married couple out for a night with some newlyweds double dating look of secret horror on the faces of nice guys Nadal and Federer makes proceedings all the more awkward.
Michael Clarke to Jimmy Anderson
As ever, there was plenty of ad hominem on show in the 2013-14 ashes, culminating in one unsavoury moment when Michael Clarke told the batting Jimmy Anderson to “get ready for a broken fucking arm”. Clarke was later fined 20 per cent of his match fee. Because, well, it’s just not cricket.
Marco Materazzi and Zinedine Zidane
For a few head-scratching seconds, millions wondered what must have happened for one of the football world’s greatest talents to self-destruct and launch his into the chest of an opponent in the 2006 World Cup final. What could the Italian defender Materazzi possibly have said to rile such a consummate pro? Oh, "I prefer the whore that is your sister”? That’ll do it.
Paul Casey to America
English golfer Paul Casey must have forgotten where he lived (America) and the nationality of his girlfriend (American) when slagging the US Ryder Cup team off in 2004. “Oh, we properly hate them. We wanted to beat them,” he told The Sunday Times. To call the response from US fans and players alike as angry would be – ahem – putting it mildly, as his biggest sponsors including Titleist ‘properly’ dropped him. Booed at most US courses, he quickly became the Robbie Savage of golf.
Alan Shearer to Roy Keane
As we recently documented, Roy Keane isn’t one to shirk a confrontation. The bearded wonder openly courts it. Yet, in 2002, it was Alan Shearer playing the wind-up merchant in one thriller, which saw his Newcastle beat Keane’s Manchester United 4-3 at St James Park. As Keane handed him the ball, Shearer reportedly said, “Do you want me to sign that for you, son?” OK, so perhaps it’s not the most unsporting statement made on a football field, and actually fairly funny, but it was slightly unbecoming of a normally strong silent type who less than a year before was England captain. Oh and Shearer also managed to call him a “prick”.
Graeme Souness to Fenerbahce
Firebrand Graeme Souness knew exactly how to endear himself to the Galatasary faithful after his club’s away win over Fenerbahce in 1996: by thrusting a giant flag with the club colours smack bang in the middle of the pitch belonging to their bitter rivals. It’s one thing when players insult fans but when a manager of the rival team goes out of his way to disrespect an entire stadium, it’s just not on. If there is an opposite to a ‘key of a city’, he’s earned it.
Kevin Garnett to Charlie Villanueva
Basketball’s Charlie Villanueva suffers from an autoimmune skin disease known as alopecia universalis, which among many effects, results in hair loss across the entire body and head. During one game for Detroit Pistons against Boston Celtics, famously-mouthy player Kevin Garnett apparently referred to him as a “cancer patient”. Cue one very pissed off Piston and while Garnett would deny the claim, his reputation has suffered since.
Mayweather to Pacquiao
Trash talk has become such an important marketing ploy for boxers that we were almost not going to feature any on this list at all. Then we remembered one ridiculously racist diatribe by douchebag extraordinaire Floyd Mayweather, aimed at the politest boxer in the world, Manny Pacquiao. Deeming him a “little yellow chump”, he proceeded to tell the world that, "Once I stomp the midget, I'll make that mother f----- make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice." Talk about below the belt.
Mark Webber to Sebastian Vettel
As the old saying goes, “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” If only Mark Webber had observed this advice after being shunted by a young Sebastian Vettel, forcing him out of one GP in 2007. If only he’d held his tongue instead of going on live and TV and saying, “Well, it’s kids isn’t it? Kids with not enough experience, doing a good job, and then they fuck it all up.” Later of course, Vettel joined Webber’s team Red Bull, winning four world championships and leaving the Aussie in his proverbial dust.