Jeremy Shales (un)appreciation thread


Hall of Fame
It's safe to say that Jeremy Shales from Great Britain was a highly notorious (and utterly useless) umpire in the 70s and 80s. He frequently made the headlines for the wrong reasons, and I doubt he received too many Christmas cards from Nastase, Connors, McEnroe and Lendl.

In the 1977 Wimbledon QF between Borg and Nastase, Nastase was on the verge of defeat and up to his usual mischief. He was irritated when Shales called him ''Nastase'' and replied ''If you want to speak to me, you call me Mister."

The 1985 Montreal final between McEnroe and Lendl is one of the most hilarious matches of all time, with both players take it in turns to berate him, and actually sympathising with each other. I'm struggling to think of too many other matches whether the umpire has come under so much fire from both players.

Some of Lendl's grievances during the match:

At 3-3 in the 2nd set, Shales called ''new balls''. Mac sneered "What do you mean, new balls? 12 and 6, 18 right?" Lendl shouted out ''It's alright, he doesn't know how to count anyhow'' and the crowd laughed. This can be seen about 2:50 into this video:

During the 1986 Boca West SF between Lendl and Connors, Lendl was serving at 3-2 30-0 in the 5th set. He hit a volley that was clearly long but wasn’t called out. Connors erupted and refused to play on. He was given a code violation, then a point penalty, then a game penalty (making it 5-2 to Lendl). The supervisor ran onto the court, told Connors he had 90 seconds to continue playing. Connors packed his bags, stormed off and was defaulted. He was fined $20,000 and suspended for 10 weeks.

Following his 1986 QF defeat to Sergio Casal at Paris-Bercy in 1986, McEnroe erupted at Shales, screaming "You’re never going to work on a court again you understand me? You’re pathetic! You're the worst umpire I've ever seen in my life, you're never going to work another match". Mac was fined $3,000, taking him over the $7,500 limit and triggering a 42 day suspension. The outburst is at the start of this video:

Mac also went beserk at Shales during a seniors match against Leconte (which he lost in straight sets) in 2002 at Albert Hall, London, destroying sections of the banners around the court.

In March 1987 he was fired from his job (he was one of only 5 full-time professional umpires around the time) by the International Professional Tennis Council, but about a month later was re-hired and cleared to officiate at Wimbledon.


3rd clip you can heard church bells ringing, and the Shales looks like George 'dubya' Bush..strange goings on.

that jimmy Connors thing is amazing, he completely lost the plot..
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Hall of Fame

absolutely the worst
saw a few of those...the mac v. lendl match was hysterical
yeah, and connors went off the deep end, but shales was beyond inept
which was a shame because that was a great match
why he was ever let back I could not understand
god awful


Hall of Fame
Yes I agree that he was by far the worst umpire I've ever seen, and given that he was a full-time professional earning a good salary, he deserved all the criticism that he received.

Following that Boca West incident, I believe that in Connors' very next match at La Quinta, Shales was the umpire for his 1st round match against Marko Ostojo. Connors must have been very annoyed to have to see him again so soon, and he struggled to control his temper again that day as well.

When he returned to the circuit (though he had played won and big money invitational events during his 10 week suspension) at Queen's, he said:

"Maybe next time, if I know what will happen, I wouldn't go crazy, I'll pull him out of the chair. That would be my last match, but I'd have a good time doing it."

At Wimbledon in 1993, Shales wanted to default Courier during his 3rd round match against Jason Stoltenberg for foul-mouthed abuse. Courier called out the supervisor Alan Mills, who immediately overruled Shales and said that he deserved no more than a code violation. Courier went on to reach the final that year.


Hall of Fame
He actually worked as a chair umpire in the 90's and 2000's as well. But, he's been dead for nearly a decade now, unfortunately.


Hall of Fame
Yes you're right he was an umpire for over 40 years from Wimbledon in 1960 right into the 2000s. He died in 2005, but I remember him umpiring at the Senior Masters event at Albert Hall in late 2004, and having his hands full with Mac and Becker.

A more recent incident was at Wimbledon in 2001. The South African Joanette Kruger lost a tense 3 setter to Marta Marrero in the 1st round. She was so angry with a line call, that she apparently slammed her racket into Shales's chair so hard he was left shaking in his seat. She later threw a ball at him, demanding to know "where's the chalk on that?" She was fined $500.

At the 1985 Australian Open, Mac again vented at Shales over "without a doubt the worst grass court" he had ever played on and the linecalls that day. He was fined $1,250, again exceeding the $7,500 limit and triggering a 21 day suspension. When the balding tournament referee was called, Mac said to him "If this court is OK, you've got hair on your head."

Both Mac and Lendl were in terrible moods during that whole event, and Lendl was also fined for his tirades.
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