Kazakhstani tennis star Alexander Bublik was showered with boos after he botched an exhibition shot during the Moselle Open final in France on Sunday.
The world No. 44, who was trailing by a set and a break against Italian opponent Lorenzo Sonego, gifted his rival a second break after attempting the bizarre move in the second set of the ATP 250 contest finale.
Watch Tennis Live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live Coverage of ATP + WTA Tour Tournaments including Every Finals Match. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
After Sonego somehow returned a well-directed first serve, Bublik had an opportunity to comfortably smash an easy winner and save a break point.
But the 25-year-old inexplicably spun his racquet around, gripped the frame and played a shot with the handle.
Sonego ultimately won the point to take a 4-1 lead in the set.
“What is he thinking?” the commentator cried.
“No wonder the boos come. This is the final of an ATP 250 event. He’s one break down, now he’s two breaks down. He is unravelling fast. Outrageous. What is happening here? I can’t believe he’s done that.”
The Metz crowd was not impressed, booing Bublik as he burst into laughter while wiping himself down at the change of ends.
Sonego went on to win the match 7-6 6-2, clinching the third ATP Tour title of his career and sliding into the top 50 on the rankings.
“I improved my tennis every day, and I’m really happy for this match and this tournament,” the 27-year-old said after the match.
“It’s really tough to play against Alexander, because he is an unbelievable player with an amazing serve, good talent, and it is always tough to play him.”
“This is an emotional moment for me, because I had a tough year. Now I’m going to enjoy this.”
Bublik claimed his first the title at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier earlier this year, defeating former world No. 2 Alexander Zverev in the final.
He has an unfortunate reputation of flopping in grand slam tournaments, never qualifying beyond the third round in a major.
However, Bublik did reach the semi-finals of the 2020 Australian Open doubles alongside compatriot Mikhail Kukushkin.