Sometimes the action off the court is as entertaining as the tennis on it – read on below as we…
Sometimes the action off the court is as entertaining as the tennis on it – read on below as we take a look at some of the most awkward press conference moments surrounding the game’s biggest stars!
Federer: I feel incredibly sexy
Look, anytime Roger Federer utters the phrase ‘I feel good and incredibly sexy’, I’m going to automatically assume things got real awkward real quick.
To be fair to the Fed Express, he wasn’t pumping his own tyres out of nowhere. During a pre-Wimbledon press conference in 2018, a female reporter told him, “Roger, you look even more handsome than last year.”
Federer, with the top button of his shirt undone, chuckled awkwardly before engaging in a wild back-and-forth with the journalist in question.
THAT QUESTION 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/dlytKj2OqO
— MariaRF 🏠🤞 (@inspiredtennis) July 1, 2018
Nadal: That’s bullshit
Rafael Nadal is normally the world’s most polite man, but one reporter got under his nerves big-time during a press conference at last year’s ATP Finals in London.
After suffering a straight sets loss to Alexander Zverev, Nadal was asked if his recent marriage to his long-term girlfriend was negatively impacting his tennis.
A pretty ridiculous question I’m sure you’d agree, and a disgruntled Nadal certainly didn’t mince his words in response. Although, Rafa did manage to squeeze in the obligatory ‘thank you very much’ to finish.
“Okay it’s a big surprise you’ve asked me this after I’ve been with the same girl for 15 years. It doesn’t matter if you put a ring on your finger or not. Maybe it was for you, how long have you been with your wife?”
The interviewer replied that he has been with his wife for 30 years.
Nadal went on:
“And before. Ah, maybe before you weren’t sure. That’s why (smiling). Okay we move to Spanish (questions) because that’s bullshit. Thank you very much.”
Nadal: I lost, by the way
Poor Nadal was involved in another shocker back in 2017, this time in Miami. After going down to Federer in the final, you can see how Nadal would have been slightly befuddled at this reporter’s opening question.
The dialogue is fantastic.
Reporter: “Congratulations on your win. And I’d like to know how do you feel after the game and if you’re ready to give it another try?”
Nadal: “I lost, by the way.”
Reporter: “Yeah, I know, but it’s a win anyway.”
I…. I don’t think it is. But hey, props to the journalist for refusing to budge on her line of questioning. Maybe she was the real winner that day.
Possibly the single-most awkward press conference moment of all time. Nicolas Mahut, best known for his marathon Wimbledon match against John Isner, lost in the opening round of the French Open in 2014.
However, one reporter didn’t get the memo, and well, Mahut wasn’t too pleased to put it mildly. Check out the short transcript below.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 26, 2014
Kyrgios: I think you can figure that one out, champ
To be honest, this entire list and then some could be filled with Nick Kyrgios content, but we’ll limit ourselves to just one.
One of my personal favourites comes from Wimbledon in 2016 when Kyrgios edged fellow entertainer Dustin Brown in a fiery five-set encounter. The Aussie, to everyone’s great shock I’m sure, wasn’t happy with some of the umpiring during the match, and proceeded to say it was ‘horrendous’.
Kyrgios then engaged in a humorous back-and-forth with a journalist post-match – and let me tell you, whenever someone calls another person ‘champ’, that means they are positively fuming inside.
Wozniacki: The silence is deafening…
Getting quizzed about your ex is awkward at the best of times, let alone in front of an entire room full of journalists in a press conference that is being beamed across the world.
But that’s the situation that Caroline Wozniacki found herself in at Wimbledon following her very public break-up with golf star Rory McIlroy.
The discomfort in the room reached seismic levels as Wozniacki completely ignored the question and gestured to the supervisor, who proceeded to say, “let’s stick to tennis questions. Has anyone got any tennis questions?”
They did not.
Serena: That wasn’t very kind, you should apologise
Serena Williams is never one to back down and she certainly wasn’t having anything to do with one reporter’s swift analysis of her performance during the 2017 Australian Open.
The journalist told Serena her display was scrappy with a lot of unforced errors – to which Serena basically demanded an apology.
Knowing what’s good for him, the journalist quickly replied with a mumbled ‘I’m sorry’.
Djokovic fires up: It could have snowed
Novak Djokovic is perhaps unfairly repeatedly targeted in press conferences whenever he gets a bit fired up on court, and the Serbian was pushed to the brink by a reporter at the ATP Finals in 2016.
Djokovic normally has a great relationship with the media and even hands out sweets to journalists on occasions, but not in London after being quizzed about his on-court conduct.
“You guys are unbelievable,” Djokovic mutters before going on a hypothetical rant about is snowing inside the O2 Arena.
And last but not least, we’ll leave you with this little compilation video involving perhaps the greatest rivalry in tennis history: No, not Federer vs Nadal but rather Nadal vs veteran Italian journalist Ubaldo Scanagatta.
A chronological history of Rafa repeatedly dragging Ubaldo, the most brutally lopsided H2H in tennis. pic.twitter.com/sKRuHXyOdv
— TroubleFault (@troublefault) September 7, 2019