Strange things happen every day, and when you put professional athletes and tens of thousands of fans in the hot August sun in Queens, New York, weirdness is bound to follow. Here are some of the more interesting things that have happened over the years at the US Open.

Most of you still remember the 2009 US Open when Serena Williams lost her cool. She was playing Kim Clijsters in the semi-final. The linesman foot-faulted Serena on her second serve. Serena then let loose one of the most shocking rants in the history of professional tennis (giving many spectators fearsome flashbacks of John McEnroe). Apparently Serena said, “If I could, I would take this ******* ball and shove it down your ******* throat.” The linesman told the chair umpire who called the tournament referee. A disgraced Serena lost a point and lost the match.

oh serena

Tennis isn’t usually thought of as a dangerous sport. But, in 1983, 70-year old linesman Dick Wertheim was fatally injured. Stefan Edberg was playing Patrick McEnroe. Edberg’s serve sent a speeding ball straight into Wertheim’s groin. Wertheim fell, hitting his head on the hard court and fracturing his skull. He died from blunt cranial trauma, a direct result of his injury. Edberg, only seventeen at the time, went on to win six Grand Slams.

At the 1979 US Open John McEnroe was playing Ilie Nastase. It was the fourth set. McEnroe was serving. Nastase held up his hand to signal that he wasn’t ready. McEnroe, never known for his patience, served anyway and the umpire gave him the point. Natase started complaining, 10,000 yelling fans joined him. Natase wouldn’t shut up and was docked the game. The crowd went crazy. People started throwing stuff onto the court (mostly trash). The cops were called to restore order. Seventeen minutes later Nastase was asked to resume the game. The one-minute service time period went by and still he refused. Unsurprisingly, he was disqualified. The crowd was still going nuts; fearing an all-out riot, the umpire was replaced and the match was continued. Not that it mattered, McEnroe won anyway.

In 1977, during the match of John McEnroe and Eddie Dibbs, a gun went off. James Reilly, a 33-year-old fan innocently watching the match in the stands, was shot in the thigh by a .38 caliber gun. Turns out Reilly was hit by a stray bullet fired from a gun outside the stadium in Queens, NY. The game was delayed while Reilly was taken out of the stands and out of the stadium. When McEnroe and Dibbs were told why the game was delayed, Dibbs is reported to have said: “I’m out of here.” To keep the players from leaving and the game from suddenly ending, the umpire lied and told them that a fan was in shock. McEnroe won the match. Afterwards, the umpire confessed that he was correct the first time, and that a fan was shot, not in shock.

The 1977 US Open must have been an exciting tournament. Renee Richards made her debut in the women’s singles, against Virginia Wade. Seventeen years earlier, at the 1960 US Open, Renee made her debut in the men’s singles, as Richard H. Raskind. After a sex-change operation, and a ruling by the New York State Superior Court, Richard/Renee was allowed to come back to the US Open, the same tournament, different division. When she played as Richard Raskind he lost his first-round match. When she played as Renee Richards, she also lost her first-round match.

2011 US OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT   /     ROGER FEDERER       -     Arthur Ashe Stadium Court, Flushing  NYC      -      09/03/11

All US Open 2012 posts are tagged US Open and are listed up below:

10 tips for your day at the US Open
US Open trivia

Fashion and gear:

adidas players outfits
Andy Murray adidas outfit
Ana Ivanovic adidas outfit
Fernando Verdasco adidas outfit
Maria Kirilenko adidas outfit
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga adidas outfit
Caroline Wozniacki adidas outfit
Kim Clijsters Fila outfit
Roger Federer Nike outfit
Maria Sharapova Nike outfit
Serena Williams Nike outfit
Victoria Azarenka Nike outfit
Petra Kvitova Nike outfit
Li Na Nike outfit
Sam Stosur asics outfit
Novak Djokovic Uniqlo outfit

A trip down memory lane:

Top 5 strange events at the US Open
US Open biggest upsets
1970 US Open: Margaret Court completes the Grand Slam
1971 US Open: Chris Evert becomes the “It Girl”
79 US Open 2nd round: McEnroe vs Nastase, chaos on court
1979 US Open: John McEnroe defeats Vitas Gerulaitis
1980 US Open: John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg
1981 US Open: Tracy Austin defeats Martina Navratilova
1981 US Open: John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg: Borg’s last Grand Slam match
Back in 1990: Sabatini and Sampras win their first GS title: part 1part 2
1991 US Open: Connors, 39 qualifies for the semifinals
1991 US Open: Seles and Capriati introduce power in womens tennis
1991 US Open: Stefan Edberg defeats Jim Courier
1992: Stefan Edberg defeats Pete Sampras
1994 US Open 4th round: Jaime Yzaga defeats Pete Sampras
2000 US Open: Marat Safin defeats Pete Sampras
2001 US Open: Venus defeats sister Serena
2001 US Open QF: Andre Agassi – Pete Sampras
2001 US Open: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Pete Sampras
2002 US Open: last Grand Slam title for Pete Sampras
2003 US Open: Roddick wins his first (and only) Grand Slam title
2004 US Open: First time to NYC for a French fan of Agassi
Andre Agassi gives the Open crowd one more thrill ride, August 31st, 2006
2011 US Open by the numbers

Recap and analysis:

Tennis’ Big Three at the US Open
The 2012 US Open favorites and their racquet
First week recap

Polls:

Who will win the 2012 US Open?

  • Roger Federer (39%, 73 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (29%, 54 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (23%, 42 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Juan Martin del Potro (3%, 5 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 1 Votes)
  • John Isner (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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Who will win the 2012 US Open?

  • Serena Williams (35%, 39 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (23%, 25 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (14%, 15 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (11%, 12 Votes)
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Kim Clijsters (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 111

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Let’s begin with a little bit of self promotion: Tennis Buzz recently reached 400 followers on Twitter and 100 on Facebook. So join us!

Here is our Best and Worst of June 2012. (Read here our Best and Worst of Roland Garros 2012).

Best:

Tamira Paszek:
5-3 down in the third set, she saved 5 championships point to win her first title since 2010, defeating Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, in Eastbourne. A few days later, she upset former number one Caroline Wozniacki in the first round at Wimbledon 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 in an encounter lasting 3 hours and 12 minutes.
After an easy second round win over Alizé Cornet, she defeated Yanina Wickmayer in another gruelling match 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in two hours and 40 minutes

Kim Clijsters:
Last Wimbledon for Kim who beat Jelena Jankovic, Andrea Hlavackova and Vera Zvonareva. Next opponent: Angelique Kerber.

Sania Mirza‘s reaction to the Indian Olympic team mess:

“As an Indian woman belonging to the 21st century, what I find disillusioning is the humiliating manner in which I was put up as a bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis.”

“While I feel honored and privileged to have been chosen to partner Leander Paes, the manner and timing of the announcement wreaks of male chauvinism where a two time Grand Slam champion, who has been India’s number 1 women’s tennis player for almost a decade in singles and doubles is offered in compensation to partner one of the feuding champions purely in order to lure him into accepting to play with a men’s player he does not wish to play with! This kind of blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood needs to be condemned even if it comes from the highest controlling body of tennis in our country.”
Well said.

Tommy Haas:
German veteran Tommy Haas beat Roger Federer in Halle to capture his 13th career title, its first since 2009.

Andy Roddick:
Roddick ended a 16 months title drought by winning his 31th career title in Eastbourne. He entered the event as a wild card after losing his opening match at Queen’s Club the week before, a defeat that stretched his losing streak to six matches dating to mid-March.

Arnaud Clément:
Arnaud Clément is France new Davis Cup captain. He was hired to replace Guy Forget, who resigned after 14 seasons in charge.

Arnaud Clément

The WTA says NO to grunting, finally!
The WTA is developing a “sport-wide plan” to keep future players from grunting by educating them and instituting rule changes. USA Today reported the plan includes developing a device for umpires to measure grunting during matches, and a rule to set limits on how much noise is acceptable.

Maria Sharapova

ATP says NO to blue clay:
ATP President Brad Drewett has announced blue clay courts will not be allowed at tour events next season.
He said that while the new color, in place of the traditional red clay, “may have offered better visibility on television, there were clearly issues with the quality of the courts in Madrid this year, which were not acceptable.”

Tournament winners:

Bad Gastein: Alizé Cornet
Birmingham: Melanie Oudin
‘s-Hertogenbosch: Nadia Petrova, David Ferrer
Queen’s: Marin Cilic
Halle: Tommy Haas
Eastbourne: Tamira Paszek, Andy Roddick

Worst:

David Nalbandian: disqualified at Queen’s and ousted by Tipsarevic in the first round at Wimbledon.

Venus Williams:
For the first time since her debut appearance at the All England Club 15 years ago, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams failed to get past the first round of Wimbledon. She was beaten by doubles specialist Elena Vesnina 6-3 6-1.
I must say I don’t get why she keeps playing. Perhaps retirement is the best option right now.

Gilles Simon:
He totally has the right to express what he thinks about women’s tennis and equal money, but offence people and say stupid thing like there was 20 spectators attending the women’s Rome final, it’s simply stupid.

I really liked Bartoli‘s reaction:

He should wake up earlier (to have a practice court)

and Sloane Stephens comments:

“Whatever he says means nothing to me. He hit me with a ball when I was ball kid for the first time. He hit me right in my chest because he lost a point and set he turned around and slammed the ball and it hit me,”

Stephens told a small group of U.S. reporters.

“Whatever he says, that means nothing to me. We had discussion about it on the court last year because he was trying to kick me off the practice court in Estoril and I’m like dude you don’t have this court. His coach was nice and he asked me, ‘Why don’t you like him?’ and I said because when I was 10 he hit me with the ball and he didn’t even say sorry and kind of walked off. So I was like, ‘I don’t like him.”

And for all of you who have no idea who Simon is, that’s him:

2012 French Open adidas outfits

Flavia Pennetta:
The first seed eliminated at Wimbledon was No. 16 Flavia Pennetta, who fell 6-4, 6-3 to fellow Italian Camila Giorgi. With the recent achievements of Sara Errani and Francesca Schiavone, nobody remembers that in 2009, she became the first female Italian player to reach the top 10.

The whole Indian olympic team mess, Paes, Bhupathi and co: none of them deserve a medal

Fila announced today the debut of a special apparel and accessory collection to honor the retiring Kim Clijsters as she plays the last Grand Slam events of her career.

“We have been honored to have Kim as a member of our Fila family for so many years,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman of Fila Korea.

“She has been an amazing ambassador for the brand, and like many of her fans, we are sad to see her retire from tennis. The collection that Kim will debut at Wimbledon echoes the champion that she is, and we hope she enjoys every moment of the last Grand Slam appearances of her illustrious tennis career.”

The collection for Wimbledon consists of a selection of Kim’s favorite Fila tennis silhouettes. Clijsters will wear a short sleeve v-neck cap sleeve top with breathable air mesh side panels or sleeveless top.
The v-neck has metallic gold trim at the neck and piping on the front side panels while the sleeveless features the trim on the arm — vertically on the side panels as well as two color blocked lines on the hip. Both styles are classic Fila silhouettes and will be paired with a matching white skort with subtle metallic gold piping across the hip.

“It means so much to me that Fila developed this commemorative collection in honor of my retirement. Wimbledon has been an important place for me since I was very young, and it was where I played my first exhibition before I officially returned to tennis in 2009. It is only fitting that I debut this collection on Centre Court.”

The limited edition collection will be available at select specialty tennis retail stores around the country and on fila.com.

Kim Clijsters Fila Special Collection

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Wimbledon Centre Court

All Wimbledon 2012 posts are tagged Wimbledon and are listed up below:

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club:

Wimbledon guided tour – part 1
Wimbledon guided tour – part 2
Wimbledon Centre Court roof
Court 3 : a new Show Court at Wimbledon
Waiting in the Queue to Wimbledon
Wimbledon Museum: The Queue exhibition
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum: Player Memorabilia

Fashion and gear:

Caroline Wozniacki adidas outfit for Wimbledon 2012
Rafael Nadal Nike oufit
Roger Federer Nike oufit
Maria Sharapova Nike dress
Serena Williams Nike dress
Petra Kvitova Nike oufit
Li Na Nike oufit
adidas players outfits: Ivanovic, Kirilenko, Murray and Tsonga
Kim Clijsters Fila Collection

Marketing

Wimbledon 2012 Sponsorship Activation
Evian launches the ball hunt for fans to win tickets to Wimbledon

A trip down memory lane:

Wimbledon Trivia
Wimbledon past champions: stats and records
Wimbledon ‘s biggest upsets
Rod Laver – John Newcombe Wimbledon 1969
Bjorn Borg – Ilie Nastase Wimbledon 1976
Virginia Wade, Britain’s last Wimbledon champion
1981: First Wimbledon title for McEnroe
1982: Jimmy Connors defeats John McEnroe
1984: John McEnroe defeats Jimmy Connors
Wimbledon 1991: the first Middle Sunday
1992: first Grand Slam for Andre Agassi
1993: Pete Sampras defeats Jim Courier
2000 Wimbledon SF: Pat Rafter defeats Andre Agassi
2000 Wimbledon Final: Pete Sampras defeats Pat Rafter
2001 Wimbledon 4th round: Federer defeats Sampras
The Spirit of Wimbledon: a 4-part documentary by Rolex retracing Wimbledon history

Recap and analysis:

The biggest upset in tennis history: Rosol defeats Rafael Nadal

Polls:

Who will win Wimbledon 2012?