After losing the first two sets (both tie breakers) to Jim Courier in quarter finals of the 1995 Australian Open, Pete Sampras fought back and won the third set 6-3 and the fourth set 6-4. At the start of the fifth set, Sampras heard a fan call out “C’mon do it for your coach.”
A few seconds later Sampras, sitting on a stool at center, held a towel to his face, and was sobbing uncontrollably. Sampras’s coach, Tim Gullikson had just been flown home after being hospitalized for dizzy spells. Gullikson died the following year (at the age of 44) from a brain tumor that had caused his dizziness.
‘Do It for Your Coach’ : An Emotional Sampras, With Ailing Gullikson on His Mind, Rallies From Two Sets Down to Beat Courier in the Australian Open
Pete Sampras stood still on center court at the Australian Open as if naked, his emotions exposed, his face awash with tears, his chest heaving.
“C’mon, honey, get in there,” his girlfriend, Delaina Mulcahy, said gently from the front row.
Across the net, Jim Courier shouted jokingly to his friend and rival, “Are you all right, Pete? We can do this tomorrow.” It was a gesture of love by Courier, who knew how much Sampras was hurting inside and wanted to help him stop crying. Read more LATimes
Sampras splashed some ice water on his face, got his composure back and won the fifth set (6-4) and the match.
John McEnroe, First Player Ever Ejected from an Australian Open Match, January 21, 1990
John McEnroe was playing the Swedish born Mikael Pernfors in the fourth round of the Australian Open. Pernfors was winning the third set of the match, 4 games to 2, but McEnroe was still ahead in the match, having won the first two out three sets. Then McEnroe missed a few shots, got the short end of a some close calls, and worst of all, got set off by crying baby. McEnroe yelled into the stands “Give him a drink, the boy’s hungry.”
One baby is asked to leave, then another
Umpire Gerry Armstrong asked the parents to take the baby out of the stadium, and the mother complied. Down 3-2 in the fourth set, McEnroe bounced his racket. He managed to get back to deuce, but then he smashed his racket again after hitting a forehand wide. This time he broke the head of the racket. Armstrong then hit McEnroe with a code violation. McEnroe answered with several expletives and asked to speak with Kevin Farrar, the chief of supervisors. McEnroe began swearing at Farrar and then with Farrar’s approval, Armstrong called out “Code violation, continued abuse. Default Mr. McEnroe. Game, set, match. And with that, McEnroe was in the record books as the first player ever ejected from an Australian Open match.