Benoit Paire of France smashes his tennis racket after loosing to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus during the first round of the Citi Open tennis tournament.
French tennis player Benoit Paire left his composure in the locker room for his Citi Open match Tuesday.
Paire, ranked No. 55 in the world ATP rankings, threw a memorable tantrum in his three-set loss to Marcos Baghdatis at the hardcourt U.S. Open tuneup tournament Washington, D.C.
First, Paire’s agitation started to show in the third set when he was down 4-2. After hitting the ball into the net to lose the next game (to fall behind 5-2), Paire became unhinged. He sat on the ground before furiously slamming his racket four times, ultimately breaking it. After he got up, he then threw the mangled racket near the middle of the court.
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Next, as Paire walked the sideline for a court changeover, he began stomping near his equipment before slamming yet another racket into the court.
As Paire sat on the bench and hydrated, a point penalty was issued by the judge. Two ball kids were left to pick up the two broken rackets, which eventually became two souvenirs.
Baghdatis — infamous for his own viral racket-smashing episode in 2012 — attempted to calm down his opponent. But Paire brushed him off and finished the final game without much resistance, completing the 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 loss. As the two players met near the net, Paire threw his racket one more time, for good measure.
The Washington, D.C., crowd booed Paire as he walked off the court. His response? The Frenchman blew kisses for the final act of his tantrum showing.
Paire will likely be fined for his actions. Similar outbursts have drawn five-figure fines. Messages made by USA TODAY Sports to ATP officials regarding potential punishment were not immediately returned on Wednesday morning.