I just adored Helen Kelesi. She was intense in every match she played. Always seemed in a bad mood and questioned calls feverishly, even when the point wasn't so important. I recall a match she played at Wimbledon in 1991 against the ageing Jo Durie. The match wasn't a classic by any means, but it was quite animated. Helen started by moaning to the umpire about the fact that the court was damp, and then proceeded to lose her temper within the first couple of games of the match.........the ball boyu kept giving her a damp ball with mud on it, and there were a couple of dodgy line calls that went against her. As the match went on, the tears flowed at changeovers, the grunt became hysterical, the cries of "no way" and "unreal" occurred between points.....and the match ended with Helen losing 6-3 6-2, a 'slow' walk to the net with head down, racket tossed in front of the chair, head down, towel covering head...tears..........
Generally she was well known for smashing her racket, cursing at linepeople, arguing with the umpire, shouting at the opponent, swearing at the opponent...........all as part of her competitiveness
BUT she was also very charismatic and lively.....and charming when she was winning. She was the ultimate "love her or hate her" type of player.
Sadly she got injured in 1992-1994 and then developed many brain tumours. Apparently she is well and still involved in tennis. Just wish she was playing in the internet era. Anyone have any of her matches on video tape???
1. I don't believe that Jennifer Capriati is the worst offender overall in the arguing department. There've been girls who've behaved much worse at different times. I think it's because Jen receives more exposure than a lot of the other girls, so it only seems like we see her arguing a lot. Including Helen Kelesi, I've seen Maureen Drake, Rennae Stubbs, Laura Golarsa, Patricia Tarabini, Pam Shriver, and Ulrike Priller throwing incredibly huge spacks on the court whenever something wasn't to their liking. And they did it more than once. That's why those particular names stuck in my mind.
2. Hmm... a lot of the girls yell at themselves. Some do it to encourage themselves. Some do it when they get annoyed with their play. I'm not sure. Most of the top girls encourage themselves with "come on's" or whatever. I've read that some of the girls competing in the Challenger events really get stuck into themselves for missing shots. Some girls may even be too shy to yell what they're really thinking about themselves on the court. Who knows what horrid thoughts which girls may have running through their heads in the heat of battle? Tough to call. Pam Shriver used to whine to herself a lot.
Barbara doesn't really scream a particular word. It's just a plain scream of frustration, especially when she misses a shot. She normally looks up to her coach when she screams. I remember her match against Justine in Sydney this year, and she screamed at herself at least 5 times. It's really cute when she does it.
I'm sure there are players that scream a lot more than Babsi, but she's the one who came to mind.
1. I would say Arantxa ranks right up there when it comes to argueing line calls definitely Jen and Arantxa are the best! - but I agree that when it comes to throwing temper tantrums there are other players that get the cake! Patricia Tarabini for once has a mouth on her, Rennae Stubbs comes to mind too, I have seen both completely lose it. Fun argueing had to go to the now not playing doubles pairing of Irina Spirlea and Caroline Vis! geez! those two together were so intimidating!!! I saw them make a line judge cry once!!!!
2. Anabel Medina. She's too much, she's either crying on court or yelling... or talking to her coach.
Does anyone else remember Jennifer at Wimbledon a couple of years ago? A line judge had gone to the umpire to complain about Jenns language and as she returned to her spot, Jenn was shouting "I supposed you're pleased with yourself now are you?"
I wish Venus would argue more - her clash with the umpire at Wimbledon a few years ago during a match with Novotna was fantastic to watch. She screamed and yelled and said 'the linesman saw it was out, Jana saw it was out and they all saw it was out (meaning the crowd and she pointed her racket at all four sides of the court).'