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Has there ever been a more ill-tempered grand slam than the Australian Open?

It’s probably fair to say that the Australian Open 2022 will be remembered for a host of disappointing reasons, but none more so than the fact that it has been played in such an ill-tempered manner.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 26.01.2022
Has there ever been a more ill-tempered grand slam than the Australian Open

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It’s probably fair to say that the Australian Open 2022 will be remembered for a host of disappointing reasons, but none more so than the fact that it has been played in such an ill-tempered manner. In fact, it's hard to think back to a time when there has ever been this much needle on show for fans to see.

The latest controversy centred on Denis Shapovalov calling umpires in professional tennis corrupt after he took exception to umpire Carlos Bernardes supposedly letting Rafa Nadal get away with a time infringement. Crucially, Shapovalov wasn’t able to recover from feeling aggrieved and lost the match to Nadal, who is now only 5/2 to win the entire event. Indeed, if you bet on Australian Open markets then you’ll know the Spaniard is now one of the outright favourites to win what would be a historic grand slam. 

With that said, the latest Australian Open predictions do actually make Daniil Medvedev the overall favourite. Naturally, it is a very close-run thing though, but one thing is for certain and that is Shapovalov won’t be leaving Melbourne as a grand slam champion after letting his emotions get the better of him. 

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— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 25, 2022

Revealingly, however, the Canadian has received a lot of support after his outburst, with pundits agreeing that Nadal was given preferential treatment. There was, of course, a consensus that the 22-year-old took it too far by labelling every referee in the professional game as corrupt, but in essence, there was also a degree of sympathy for him that was widespread.

As briefly touched on, it was the latest in a string of controversies that have plagued the Australian Open. It comes on the back of Andy Murray taking exception to fans replicating Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic celebration by shouting ‘siu’ after a point had been scored during his matches. Fortunately for Murray, he didn’t have to put up with it for long after he was knocked out in just the second round.


— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 18, 2022

Besides Murray's gripes about all the Ronaldo devotees that follow him around, there was Sloane Stephens taking aim at Emma Raducanu by warning the 19-year-old that she ‘has a lot to learn.’ 

In truth, it was a comment made in poor judgment when you consider Raducanu would be the first to admit that she has a lot to learn. Furthermore, the grounds for Stephens’ frustrations were largely unfounded as the 28-year-old took umbrage with Raducanu screaming after winning a point during their match.

— New York Post (@nypost) January 19, 2022

But then again, we’ve seen a lot of testy reactions in Melbourne this year, so perhaps we should give Stephens a free pass on this one and put it down to the ferocious Australian summer heat that everyone seems to be battling with. 

Indeed, for some reason or other, players have let fans, the umpires, or their opponents get under their skin more than ever before. Regrettably, it hasn’t been a great advertisement for the Australian Open and has also shown the entitlement that tennis professionals suffer from when things don’t go their way. We can only hope things improve for the French Open in Paris in late spring.

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