Top 5 emotional players in women's tennis

This is a guest post by our faithful reader, Marine, who has recently started a tennis blog herself. I thought it would be nice to present her writing skills and invite you to read Tennis Notebook.

Tennis is a sport which is never short of drama. When the pressure is on, it gets pretty emotional out there and there are some players who "let it out of their system" a bit more than others. So, here is my chart of top 5 WTA drama queens. Let’s see if you agree with my choice :).


1. Vera Zvonareva

Vera has got two enemies to fight on the court: her opponents and her emotions. Unfortunately, sometimes the emotions win. And when she loses control she loses it big time. Her on-court antics can really spice up the action: throwing and breaking rackets, crying, shouting at herself… it’s all there and sometimes not only that. It’s not hard to imagine how terrible she must feel after such a loss of self-control. To calm down Vera often hides her face under a towel during the changeovers.

2. Serena Williams

Serena considers the court to be her little kingdom and she likes to be treated like a queen. If officials do not play along they will bear the consequences. Her ugly outburst at 2009 US Open was a hot topic in tennis world for months and most probably will be one of the things she will remembered for after her career is over.

3. Jelena Jankovic

JJ is a different version of a drama queen. No thrown or broken rackets or tears. She likes to complain to authorities instead. If things go wrong her debates with umpires often become pretty heated and sometimes she ends up fighting a little war of words. JJ keeps officials on their toes, that’s for sure.

4. Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova

There is not a lot that people know about this player. However since her match in Paris Open she has started to make a name for herself because of her tantrums. "Let it out and you’ll play better" seems to be her personal motto and therefore after losing an important point she tends to shout at herself. If that doesn’t work her coach is next…

5. Ana Ivanovic

After her great victory at Roland Garros something went very wrong. Her mental strength and confidence started to disappear and on the court her emotions often got better of her. The consequences of that were quite dire. Her performance got worse, she started to fall down the rankings and some people in tennis world have lost confidence in her abilities. Fortunately for Ana, she picked herself up just in time. Anyway, sometimes it is easy to spot she still finds it hard to control her emotions when on the court. (photos: sr_cranks, WTA Tour, © Neal Trousdale)

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47 thoughts on “Top 5 emotional players in women's tennis

  1. Bojana

    I really like this article. I wish all the best to Marine and her new blog, and to be as sucsessful as Women's tennis blog…. :)

  2. Marine

    Oh, thaks for nice words, Bojana. I will try my best to put up some fun articles together for you guys. My blog is really just "a baby" but hopefully it will grow up to something good :-P.

  3. Marija Post author

    Marine you did a great job with the article, well-written, no excess words, and I also like your post about tennis dads. You're more than welcome to guest blog here whenever you like. ;)

  4. Marine

    Thank you Marija, that's a real encouragement for me. I will go to Slovakia soon to see Fed Cup and so I will write a short piece on that and hopefully take photos of your Serbian queens of drama :-P. I hope we'll have some nice collaborations in future, hopefully.

  5. Marija Post author

    We'll surely collaborate! ;) I wish you to find a good spot and take some great photos in the Fed Cup :) Will you upload them on Flickr?

  6. Mirjana

    Cool article. :) I'd also add Caroline, mostly because of her famous injury dramas (Doha 2009, Charelston 2010, Beijing 2010). I mean, I get it, she's hurt and in pain, but she doesn't have to lie there on court, whine and cry.

  7. Marine

    Great, Marija! :-P I do not have a flickr account but I think I shall set one up after everything is ready to go. I will keep you updated.

  8. Gregoire Gentil

    Two serb players in the top 5, are you sure that you are fully objective? ;-) What about Vika when she is losing control like in the women double final at the Australian Open?

  9. Marija Post author

    Marine, yes open it, it's the best way to share photos.

    Causar, I agree, she's so cute. I think that photo is from 2009.

    Cherry, hahaha well it's not bad to be emotional.

    Gregoire, Marine is not Serbian, but what's strange, us Serbs are emotional, maybe more than others. :)

  10. Marine

    Gregoire, yes, Vika is a good choice, actually! I think one day I might do a continuation of this chart.
    Mirjana, Caroline is a bit of a drama queen,too, but she is far from Vera's level,:-P.

  11. Helen

    Hi Marine, congrats on your new blog.

    For fun, I'll take the other side of this nice article's viewpoints. Vera's game over the past year is worthwhile of notice, she had no major meltdowns and in 2010 she went deeper in slams than any other player besides Serena.

    I think Serena will be remembered for her body of work and that 2009 U.S. Open outburst will just be a footnote. Largely, Serena takes official's calls against her in stride and sometimes with humor, i.e. at Doha 09, Serena was playing Kuznetsova and yelled C'mon while the ball was still in play, the official called a "hindrance" violation and Serena nicely apologized and she, Kuzzy and the Chairwoman all laughed.

    No doubt Ivanovic has been a headcase, but still like her chances at winning the FO. Why? Because at Miami she was very very close to beating Kim, arguably the best active player on tour. Anna just needs to get mentally tougher which is achievable in the near future.

    Yes, someone should do an article on Vika cause there was a time when no lead she had was safe (i.e. up a set and 4-0 against Serena at 2010 AO and still lost). Vika also had meltdowns BUT the talented star has improved, controlled her emotions, developed a killer instinct regarding closing out matches. I predict Vika wins a slam before Caro does.

  12. John Bolan

    Great article!!

    My choice for the best outbursts would be Dinara Safina!! Is she forgotten already?? Years ago I saw her hit a ball completely out of the stadium at La Costa during play! My favorite though was in the finals of the French Open when she mowed down the beautiful flowers in one big swipe of her racquet!!

    I would drop Ana from the list. Vera has been almost perfect since she hired Sergey but of course she has that history!!

    Congratulations on a great topic!!

  13. Marine

    Hmm, thanks for the tips, guys! I see it may be wortwhile to make it top 10, lol. And, i am really happy you like this topic!

  14. Causar

    Wow, how could we have forgot Dina
    I think John was right
    We should include Dina on the list

  15. Marine

    Dinara kind of slipped my radar :-). Maybe it's because she has fallen in the ranking so much that you hardly hear about her these days.

  16. Patricia

    Great article, but I missed Aravane Rezai from France. I think she's very very very emotional. Have you ever seen her shouting, whenever a ball failed?

  17. Maja J

    Marine congratulations for the article(s) and best wishes for your further work! You should expand your list on top 10 WTA drama queens.They are girls, they are emotional and tennis is adrenaline sport ;-)

  18. TennisAce

    We need a lot of bloggers or people who write about women's tennis to actually give us a different perspective on the women who play the game. To actually write an article headed up the top 5 emotional women of the WTA is just playing up the media stereotypes of these professional women.

    Clearly, you have never seen the men break racquets and hurl derogatory words at officials and their camps, because only in the WTA are professionals described as emotional.

    I also take exception to Serena Williams being included in this derogatory list based on one incident in a 14 year career that shows that she is emotional. By the same token, I also disagree with the inclusion of Barbara. These women should be more described as being passionate, rather than emotional. If you wish to describe someone as emotional, perhaps Safina, who looks to her coach with tears in her eyes and asks why is she a chicken?

    The women you have set out above are very passionate about their games and the profession in which they compete as professionals. Calling them emotional is derogatory and serves no useful purpose.

  19. Marija Post author

    Marine, you're welcome to do a top 10! :)

    TennisAce, I've seen men described as emotional many times… And I don't think Marine's list is derogatory.

  20. Francesca

    Nice article, funny and easy to read :)
    …Then I expect the top ten!! And join the chorus of the suggestions I propose Anna Chakvetadze.

    Marine, I wish you all luck with your blog :)

  21. TennisAce

    Marine, I am Serena, Venus, Azarenka, Radwanska, Wozniacki, and a whole host of other players. I am also a big fan of women's professional tennis and women's sports in general. I do not particularly like to see women described as being emotional. It is derogatory. When men do it, they are described as head cases in the most affectionate of ways, but women are described as emotional. Give me a break.

    Francesca, AnnaC, is not emotional. The woman went through a very traumatic experience in 2007 and has never recovered from it. Calling her emotional because her results have spiralled downwards is a tad in poor taste.

  22. Francesca

    TennisAce, I know the story of Anna. I've always followed her and I was sorry to see Anna fall down that way when her career seemed to take flight…
    I had every other intention than to look a little taste, so if it seems I apologize, but I wanted to draw attention to a player who would have deserved more in my opinion.

  23. Marine

    TennisAce, it's nothing sinister about describing women as emotional. They are emotional, nothing wrong with that. You are just reading into the article. Nevermind though, I like emotional debates.:p

  24. Marine

    Wow, I would never expect that in my wildest dreams. Thanks for the link. I hope that your paper correctly identified a lighthearted tone of the article, lol.

  25. Marija Post author

    Bb, a friend has just sent me an email about it! Imagine! :) Cool! Congrats, Marine. It really is like a Top 3 news source in Serbia. They basically retold your article, with the focus on Ana and JJ saying how they have been included in the emotional top 5 according to Women's Tennis Blog.

  26. Marine

    Marija, a top 3 source? Wow, I'm going to phone my mother :-D! Btw, the continuation of the chart will be based on readers' tips and I thought that maybe there could be a fun poll in the end of it with all the promising candidates. Would be a nice finale of the whole thing.

  27. Marija Post author

    Marine, great idea! :) You should definitely do an article based on reader tips, and I'm willing to organize a poll afterwards! :) We can do a real poll, I think I'll be able to execute that with one plugin. At least I'll try :P

  28. bb

    It is one of the most read, reliable sources in the country and in the Balkans and it made it on the front page! Marine should be really excited and continue the good work!

  29. John Bolan

    Hey, what's up with TennisAce? I love Dinara Safina yet I nominated her for this honor. Emotional women do make the best lovers!! ;)

  30. Marine

    I am totally excited about it,bb. I told my mum the good news,too,lol. The continuation of the chart will be here soon, your tips were great and I did my own search, too so nothing is hidden from me anymore :-).
    Marija, that is great that you'd be willing to do a poll on it as well. I think wordpress should have a platform for inserting polls and if not let me know and I'll try to help out.

  31. Francesca

    Congratulations again! At the end your blog has had a very good start :) …I'm just reading the other posts ;)

  32. Marine

    Oh, thank you. I appreciate that it entertained you. It's a great hobby to have, when I was little I dreamed about being a journalist. Never got to do it so this kind of makes up for it :-).

    Marija, you have made a great name for yourself over the year (I read the advertising pack and I am impressed).

    Btw, I see you moved on from Fed Cup to other topics, would it be OK to publish the report I sent to you on my blog? Once again, sorry about the photos but only 1 turned out to be good :-(

  33. Marija Post author

    Marine, yes, blogging is practically journalism, only that you're free to do what you want to do :) You read my media kit? Hehe yes, there were some huge successes. :) I'm hoping for even more in the future.

    About the Fed Cup report, I can't express how sorry I am! I totally overlooked it, my inbox has had too many emails waiting for replies. I think I read your email, expected to post it when I come home from work, but I was too busy and forgot… The post will be live today, I promise! It's not too late, the emotions of the exciting tie are still there. :)

    Can you add me on Flickr? I can't find you. This is my link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/womenstennis

  34. Bróna

    This is a really good post Marine. I saw who I expected on the list, I agree with you over JJ, Zvonareva and Zahlavova Strycova. Was a little surprised with the inclusion of Ivanovic, but I suppose since she won the French, as you said, she has been more expressive on court. For better and for worse :P Good luck with the blog, I've visited a few times and I really like it!

  35. Belk

    Ummmm I really DONT agree with what you put about serena, I mean Federer and a lots of other players have mental outbursts and so do we all, plus she didn't foot fault. But I feel that you should not be bias to any player…

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