Nick Kyrgios smashed three racquets in one outburst before being knocked out of the Cincinnati Masters in the second round.
The Australian star lost his temper after losing a first-set tiebreak and took it out on his tools, picking up the racquets from his courtside seat and whacking them on the hardcourt surface one after the other.
Making matters worse, he later blew a 5-2 lead and a match point in the third-set tiebreaker to lose 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) to Croatian teenager Borna Coric, making an early exit less than two weeks out from the US Open.
It wasn’t all bad news for Australia on Wednesday, as countryman Bernard Tomic claimed his highest-ranked scalp in seven months when he beat world No.11 David Goffin to reach the third round.
But it was the Kyrgios blow-up that grabbed all the attention.
The 21-year-old sent down 24 aces in the loss as he looked to continue a five-match winning streak that included his career title in Atlanta.
He regained his composure from his post-set assault on his racquets to break the 19-year-old Coric late in the second set, before falling apart late in the deciding tiebreaker.
Tomic dropped his first set against Goffin, before rebounding to win 3-6 7-5 6-4 in 110 minutes.
It marks the first time the Australian has beaten a player inside the top 12 since he downed Kei Nishikori at the Brisbane International in January.
He will now have to repeat the feat.
Nishikori will be his next opponent after Japan’s world No.7 beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-2 to advance.
Tomic will aim to keep his serve on song for the contest. Against Goffin he managed to send down 16 aces and landed 65 per cent of first serves to set up the win.
It was a much-needed victory ahead of the US Open after he lost in his first match at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico last week.
Fellow-Australian John Millman didn’t fare so well on Wednesday (Thursday AEST), beaten by eighth seed Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-1.
Meanwhile Coric will now face Rafael Nadal after the third-seeded Spaniard sprang back to form, beating Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-1 7-6 (7-4).
Second seed Stan Wawrinka was forced to battle hard on return from a back injury to beat US teen Jared Donaldson 2-6 6-3 6-4 in a rain-interrupted match.
Seventh-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also beat American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3).