There is no more prestigious tennis tournament than Wimbledon. The British tournament is one of the four existing Grand Slams on the tennis calendar, but due to its history and tradition, it has become an unmissable event for all sports lovers. But as they happen in tournaments with many editions, there are stories that are worth telling. Today we tell you what happened 25 years ago, specifically in 1995, where tennis was totally different from what we have now. At that time, it stood out for its elegance and fair play, but what happened in that edition is historical, since it experienced two disqualifications very often and where it had the American Jeff Tarango as directly and indirectly involved.
In the first round of the doubles, Tim Henman, who was then 20 years old and was called to be the future of British tennis, was paired with his compatriot Jeremy Bates, measuring the pair formed by the American Jeff Tarango and the Swedish Henrik Holm. During the match, Henman and Bates led 2-1 in sets, but everything changed in the fourth set tiebreak. Henman lost the papers considerably and hit a ball in the head of a 16-year-old ball boy who began to cry uncontrollably due to the enormous pain he was in.
Henman quickly realized the error and tried to explain his behavior to the chair judge Alan Mills, who quickly and without listening to the British version disqualified him for unsportsmanlike conduct, something that caused the sadness of all the British public who were in the stands supporting their wards. The same ball boy defended Henman saying that she was also to blame for being in that position, but the decision was already made.
“It was an accident but I have to be responsible for my actions,” Henman said at the press conference after his disqualification. His opponent, American Jeff Tarango confessed in a mixed zone that the speed of the ball could have killed the girl. After hearing these statements, Henman defended himself and stated: “If she had not been there, I am sure that she would not have been warned for hitting the ball.” A day later Henman was photographed with the ball boy and asked for forgiveness for what happened, leaving everything forgotten.
Two days later, Tarango who saw Henman’s disqualification up close was going to be the protagonist. In his third round duel against German Alexander Mronz, the American was going to lose the papers. He was 7-6 and 2-1 losing in the second set, when Tarango made an ace, but the chair umpire called out. Said decision was not going to like anything to Tarango who sent to silence the referee. Bruno Rebeuh, who was the chair judge, gave him a warning and that made Tarango mad, who asked that the warning be withdrawn and that he wanted a change of referee. They rejected this proposal and the American called the chair judge corrupt, who quickly put a warning back on him and made him lose the game.
Tarango did not think twice, he gathered his things and left the track, leaving everyone who was on the 13th track of Wimbledon stunned. In less than three days, the edition of Wimbledon had seen two disqualifications, something totally new in the Open Era and that edition of Wimbledon will be remembered for that very reason.
Can you imagine this happening today?