Australian Open winner and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been on a bit of a downward spiral since claiming the opening slam of the year.
And despite winning his Monte Carlo Masters opener against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber, he was not happy on court.
Kohlschreiber, who beat Djokovic at Indian Wells, hit the Serb on the hip with a passing shot before Djokovic erupted in a meltdown of epic proportions in the principality.
Down a break in the second set Djokovic got whacked and then obliterated the frame of his racket by slamming it to the clay on multiple occasions.
He wasn’t done though and in the third set he flung a racquet into the crowd when he was unable to reach a shot.
Eventually he calmed down enough to beat the German 6-3 4-6 6-4 and brushed off his frustration post match due to his poor serving performance.
“I lost my serve four games in a row in the second set, and that hasn’t happened too many times in my life,” Djokovic said.
“I’m not a big server, but still, that’s quite a lot. It just didn’t feel so comfortable serving today. Let’s put it that way.
“ … The positive of today (is) hanging in there, fighting and grinding.
“In a way it’s good I got to spend Two-and-a-half hours on the court in my opening match of the clay season. This surface is very demanding physically.”
Djokovic was lucky to avoid a point penalty for flinging his racket into the fans. The four-time Wimbledon champ’s latest display of anger was similar to his outburst at Indian Wells last month.
Then, Djokovic launched his racket at the back fence so hard that it left a hole in it.
Djokovic is seeded to play Argentine claycourt gun Diego Schwartzman in the third round as he tries to break out of a mini-slump that saw him exit in the early rounds at Indian Wells and Miami.
He has also been involved in an off the court battle with fellow stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal over his insistence that ATP chief Chris Kermode had to be removed from his post.
That stance was at odds with both Nadal and Federer who publicly backed Kermode to stay on.