Those who follow women’s tennis know that Anastasia Rodionova’s reputation far precedes her. In fact, when you Google her, this happens:
Here is a player who has only been ranked as high as 62 in singles on the WTA and has never won a title. She has never made it past the third round of a grand slam, and has a losing record at three of the four majors. (The US Open is the exception, where she’s 7-7.) As a result, the Russian-born Australian is far more well-known for her antics on court than anything she has actually achieved. The laundry list is quite long, but here are some of her highlights.
In Cincinnati in 2007, Rodionova was defaulted. Contrary to popular belief, defaulted does not mean retired. It means…defaulted. Up against Angelique Kerber in the first round, Rodionova allegedly became angry about the German’s vocal supporters. Frustrated after losing the first game of the third set, Rodionova smacked a ball in anger up and over the wall in front of the stands where the fans were seated. No one was injured but tournament referee William Coffey defaulted her for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After being defeated by Rodionova at Wimbledon in 2010, Svetlana Kuznetsova refused to shake her hand. Afterwards, Rodionova said, “I don’t know, I guess she was just disappointed. It doesn’t really bother me.” Kuznetsova then tweeted this:
hey guys !thank u very much for all the support!it was crazy yesterday,and yes once again I DO NOT REGRET about not shaking the hand—
Svetlana Kuznetsova (@SvetlanaK27) June 25, 2010
After a loss to Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson at the 2012 French Open, Rodionova refused to shake the umpire’s hand and claimed that line calls had benefitted the Frenchwoman. Unsurprisingly, she was booed off the court.
Flavia Pennetta said in her autobiography that she would like to fight Rodionova, after she and partner Cara Black used some choice vocabulary to describe Pennetta and partner Gisela Dulko. Andrea Petkovic also addressed Rodionova’s questionable sportsmanship in an interview, where she stated that Rodionova once told her to “go back to smaller tournaments where she belonged” during a match.
However, Rodionova was full flight today during her 64 67(4) 76(3) loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Charleston; the match lasted three hours and 42 minutes, making it the longest WTA match of the 2013 season. Despite her long and storied history, this match was truly the microcosm of Rodionova’s career.
If only she knew.
Great to be back Charleston!—
Anastasia Rodionova (@arodionova) March 29, 2013
If only we knew.
She yelled at officials, threw things, yelled at the WTA trainer, threw tantrums. Twitter reacted accordingly.
Rodionova served for the second set against BMS twice but eventually takes it in the tiebreak.—
Steven Mills (@StevenMtennis) April 01, 2013
Rodionova was down 15-40 for a double break, but has recovered back to 3-3. BMS 7/20 on break points.—
David (@ovafanboy) April 01, 2013
An injured and angry Rodionova throwing things and laying into the WTA trainer. Nasty—
Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) April 01, 2013
Still trying to figure out what's Rodionova's injury.—
(@Ratazana) April 01, 2013
A hobbling Rodionova holds for 5-4 in the third, then yells and throws things as the trainer tries and fails to treat her on the changeover.—
Fog Mountain (@fogmount) April 01, 2013
"CALL THE FREAKING BALL!" -Rodionova—
David (@ovafanboy) April 01, 2013
UPDATE: Look, there’s video! It’s not a bad way to spend 30 minutes of your life, considering the rest of us spent almost four hours.