Russian-Kazakhstani tennis gun Alexander Bublik delivered an all-time blow-up in a humiliating defeat overnight, smashing three racquets in a row as he lost the tie-breaker in the deciding third set.
The defending champion of the Open Sud de France, he returned to Montpellier with high hopes – only to be knocked out in the first round in a dire defeat to local hope Gregoire Barrere.
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25-year-old Bublik gave up the first set 4-6, before winning the second in a 14-12 tie-break, saving three match points on the way.
He earned a break in the deciding set, only to give it back when he served three double faults – his usually immense serve falling apart under pressure.
Then the world number 50 – an Australian Open doubles finalist in 2021 – began the deciding tie-break by serving another three double faults.
He soon fell to 0-6, and unleashed on his own equipment by smashing his racquet – then walking to his seat, picking up another two racquets and demolishing them as well.
Bublik saved another three match points before Barrere finished the job.
Bublik finished the match with a whopping 14 double faults as he lost for the seventh-straight match, a run that included a first-round defeat at the Australian Open and two losses in the Davis Cup on the weekend.
And it’s not the first meltdown we’ve seen from the fiery star, with him appearing to give up on a crucial point in the final of last year’s Moselle Open, with Bublik flipping his racquet upside down and using the handle to hit the ball.
That came while Bublik was down a break point, and he went on to lose that match to Lorenzo Sonego soon after.
Originally published as Tennis star smashes three racquets in all-time match point meltdown
Story Credit: news.com.au