On January 21, 1990, at the Australian Open, John McEnroe becomes the first player since 1963 to be disqualified from a Grand Slam tournament for misconduct. Leading Mikael Pernfors 6-1 4-6 7-5 2-4, McEnroe is disqualified by chair umpire Gerry Armstrong after breaking a racquet and insulting the supervisor.
The last player to be disqualified from a Grand Slam for misconduct had been Willie Alvarez of Spain, in the 1963 French Open, 17 years earlier.
“In January 1990, I was playing Mikael Pernfors in the fourth round of the Australian Open. At one set all, I disagreed with a call a lineswoman had made, and I walked over to her. I didn’t say anything; I just stood in front of her and stared at her, bouncing a ball up and down on my strings. ‘Code of conduct warning, Mr McEnroe’, the umpire announced. That seemed debatable to me, and so I debated for a few moments. The umpire prevailed, and I calmed down and won the third set.
Then, serving at 2-3 in the fourth, I hit a forehand approach wide. Suddenly, on that very hot Australian afternoon – it was 135 degrees on the court – I saw red. I slammed my racket to the ground. The frame cracked. ‘Racket abuse, Mr McEnroe’, announced the umpire. ‘Point penalty’ My anger did not subside. I went up to the umpire, let him know how I was feeling for a minute or two, then demanded to see the tournament supervisor. The supervisor materialized and calmly said that a cracked racket frame was an automatic penalty. That was when I broke some new ground. As the supervisor turned away, I made an extremely rude suggestion, in a very loud voice. Thee was a gasp in the stands – McEnroe had topped himself.
‘Verbal abuse, audible obscenity, Mr McEnroe’, the umpire said.
Default. Game, set and match, Mr Pernfors
It was the only other time in my career, besides the doubles at the 1986 US Open, that I had been defaulted. I had also made history by becoming the first player defaulted out of a Grand Slam event in the Open era.
I plead idiocy – but I also plead ignorance. If you look at my career, you’ll see that in dozens of matches, I took matters to that edge where if I incurred one more penalty, I was gone. However, the one ond only time that I went over the edge, I literally didn’t realize that the default rule had been changed, from four steps to three.
At the moment the words flew out of my mouth, I thought, OK, I’ve lost the game. I thought that it was going to be four games to two in the fourth, but that I was still up two sets to one. I still felt certain I’d win the match. But when the umpire said, ‘Game, set and match’ the first thing I thought was that my agent, Sergio Palmieri, had forgotten to tell me about the rule change.
Obviously, I can’t just say, ‘It happened because my agent forgot to tell me about the change.’ Of course I have to take the responsibility for the whole incident. I truly believe, though, that if I had known the new rule, I would have contained myself. I sometimes went off the rails, but I always knew where I stood.
Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Jankovic, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens and Dominika Cibulkova advance to the fourth round.
The only surprise came from Garbine Muguruza, who won her first WTA tour event in Hobart earlier in the month as a qualifier and has knocked out 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. She’ll play Agnieszka Radwanska next.
Grigor Dimitrov beats Milos Raonic in 3 sets to reach his first ever 4th round at a Slam. He next faces Roberto Bautista Agut who followed his upset win over Juan Martin del Potro with a straight sets victoy over Benoit Paire.
Andy Murray defeats Feliciano Lopez for the eight time in eight match and will meet lucky loser Stéphane Robert in the last 16.
Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round for the 13th consecutive year following his win over Teymuraz Gabashvili. He’ll face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who beat countryman Gilles Simon for a place in the quaterfinals.
Kei Nishikori beat Donald Young, the last American man in the singles draw in straight sets. His next opponent: Rafael Nadal who dismantled Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 6-3.
Garbine Muguruza def Caroline Wozniacki (10), Roberto Bautista Agut def Benoit Paire (27)
Video of the day: Famous. Favored. Fallen.
Matches to follow on Day 7:
Serena Williams (1) – Ana Ivanovic (14)
Fabio Fognini (15) – Novak Djokovic (2)
Stanislas Wawrinka (8) – Tommy Robredo (17)
With her 6-3 6-3 win over Daniela Hantuchova, Serena Williams set up an an all-time Australian Open record with her 61st singles victory at Melbourne Park. She’ll play Ana Ivanovic who defeated Sam Stosur 6-7 6-4 6-2.
Li Na saved one match point to defeat Lucie Safarova 1-6 7-6 6-3. She’ll face Elena Makarova in the next round. Other players qualified: Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Casey Dellacqua and Eugenie Bouchard.
Florian Mayer def Jerzy Janowicz (20), Tommy Robredo (17) def Richard Gasquet (9)
Quote of the day: Casey Dellacqua
With her win over Jie Zheng, Aussie Casey Dellacqua qualified for the fourth round for the second time of her career, having also reached the fourth round in 2008. And she sure enjoyed the heat:
But, yeah, the heat was great. I love it. It makes my body feel good, too, the heat, the warm. Yeah, I really enjoyed it out there. Yeah, it would be nice if it would be a bit hotter for the next week. I’m sure everyone else will be over it.
Pic of the day: Daniela Hantuchova
Video of the day: Australian Open Heat
Matches to follow on Day 6:
Agnieszka Radwanska (5) – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (29)
Rafael Nadal (1) – Gael Monfils (25)
Andy Murray (4) – Feliciano Lopez (26)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) – Gilles Simon (18)
Milos Raonic (11) – Grigor Dimitrov (22)
It could have been one of the biggest upsets in the Australian Open history: Maria Sharapova needed 3 hours 30 minutes to defeat 44th ranked Karin Knapp 10-8 in the final set!
Azarenka, Nadal, Federer, Murray and Tsonga cruise into the third round.
Upset of the day: Roberto Bautista Agut def Juan Martin Del Potro
Seriously, who saw that one coming? Del Potro captures the Sydney title, claims his goal is to join the top 3 and a few days later he falls in the second round for the second Slam in a row.
Yvonne Meusburger def Bojana Jovanovski (33), Kurumi Nara def Magdalena Rybarikova (32), Roberto Bautista Agut def Juan Martin Del Potro (5), Donald Young def Andreas Seppi (24), Teymuraz Gabashvili def Fernando Verdasco (31)
Pic of the day:
Play was halted for heat and then it was halted for storms.
Video of the day: Nick Kyrgios
Matches to follow on Day 5:
Serena Williams (1) – Daniela Hantuchova (31)
Sam Stosur (17) – Ana Ivanovic (14)
Tommy Robredo (17) – Richard Gasquet (9)
Serena/Venus Williams – Kristina Mladenovic/Flavia Pennetta
A lot of people now think I’m a shoe. They don’t even know I was a tennis player. The shoe has really taken on a life of its own, way beyond me – Stan Smith
Watch Stan Smith talk about the legendary tennis shoe named after him in this video by adidas:
Monica Niculescu def Sabine Lisicki (15), Casey Dellacqua def Kirsten Flipkens (18), Florian Mayer def Mikhail Youzhny (14), Sam Querrey def Ernests Gulbis (23), Denis Istomin def Dmitry Tursunov (30), Damir Dzumhur def Ivan Dodig (32)
Stat of the day: 60
Pic of the day: Ernests Gulbis
Site of the day: Grand Slam Gal
Mel did the tennis fan Slam in 2012, so she knows a thing or two about her tennis. Check out her site Grand Slam Gal where she shares her tips for buying Australian Open, her guide to going to the Australian Open, and enjoy her pics of Rafael Nadal, Sam Stosur, Rafter/Hewitt and more!
Video of the day: Gasquet and Davydenko rally
Matches to follow on Day 4:
Rafael Nadal (1) – Thanasi Kokkinakis
Benoit Paire (27) – Nick Kyrgios
Marin Cilic – Gilles Simon (18)
Serena/Venus Williams – Kristina Mladenovic/Flavia Pennetta