Tennis star’s wife slapped Wimbledon umpire after husband stormed off mid-match

Jeff Tarango wrote his name into the Wimbledon history books for all the wrong reasons after storming out mid-match following a row with an umpire – who was then attacked by his wife.

Tarango may have banked over £3million during an extended professional career – but he is best known for quitting during his third-round clash against Alexander Mronz back in 1995 following an argument with umpire Bruno Rebeuh.

Having grabbed his bags and stormed off the court, wife Benedicte Tarango then made the actions of her husband look trivial by targeting Rebeuh physically.

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Following a debate over a serve while he was a set down and losing 2-1 in the second, Tarango told the crowd to shut up after being told to: "Get on with it".

He was then penalised him for a code violation which didn't go down too well to say the very least. Tarango complained: "They can say anything at me but I can't say anything back."

Then demanding that a supervisor be called, he said: "I've got a big beef."

With supervisor Stefan Fransson suggesting he plays on, Tarango exclaimed at Rebeuh: "You are the most corrupt official in the game and you can't do that." Which led to a second code violation.

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Having then defaulted himself by walking off the court, his 30-year-old French wife Benedicte gatecrashed his subsequent press conference.

Mrs Tarango then admitted that she had attempted to slap the umpire while confronting him – before trying to defend her violent actions.

"Yes I did," she said when asked if the slap had taken place.

"And I don't think it's bad. I think it's good, because this guy deserves a lesson at some point. He can do whatever he wants, because he's on the chair. It's just not fair. The players have nobody to defend them in any situation."

Rebeuh's report of the incident read: "On my way back to the referee's office with Mr Stefan Fransson [supervisor], Mrs Tarango walked up behind me, pinched and twisted my arm and then slapped my face twice and said: 'Anyway, I will see you again…'"

When asked about the conduct of his wife, Tarango said: "She's French." Adding: "I'm still learning the culture."

For his initial walk out, Tarango was fined in the region £8000 and banned from the 1996 tournament by the ITF. Having expressed regret over his actions, the future French Open finalist said: "I just felt that I was backed into a corner and that I had really no recourse for defending myself."


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