Booed off the court: Pablo Carreno Busta served up the biggest meltdown of the Australian Open.

There’s still three rounds of the Australian Open singles contest to go, but we feel perfectly safe calling it. The hissy fit of the Australian Open belongs to Pablo Carreno Busta.

The Spaniard was booed off the court last night, after he unleashed the kraken following his marathon five-hour, five-set loss at Margaret Court Arena.

Moments after Japan’s Kei Nishikori clinched the fourth-round match, Carreno Busta shook his hand, embraced him, then walked back to his own bench. The 27-year-old then raised his racket over his head, appearing for a moment as if he might toss it, but… no, he restrained himself. Because why throw your racket when you can throw your entire bag?

The World Number 23 turned around, hurled all his (probably free… but still) gear into centre court, and let out a guttural scream I haven’t heard since someone hid the chalk from the substitute teacher in Year 8. But oh, he was not done. Not even a little bit.

Carreno Busta then faced the umpire and shouted “cabron”, a Spanish insult that loosely translates to “arsehole” or “bastard”.

Behind-the-scenes footage captured the Spaniard continue his tirade as he made his way out of the area.

The spectacle was a first for player-turned-commentator, Jim Courier: “I have never seen anyone exit the tennis court, at a professional level, that hot, that heated,” he said during the broadcast.

The blowup stemmed from a controversial umpire’s call when Carreno Busta was 8-5 up in a fifth set super-tiebreak. The chair handed Nishikori a point after an overruled challenge, though the fuming Spaniard argued it should have been replayed.

Nishikori clawed his way back from there, winning the match 6-7 (8-10) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-6 (10-8).


Carreno later apologised for the outburst during a tearful post-match press conference.

“Obviously I’m very sad, no, because after five hours fighting, after five hours’ match, the way that I leave from the court wasn’t correct, and I’m so sorry, because that’s not [me],” he said.

“But I think that the referee missed – the umpire who is near the court missed, and, well, I try to leave [as fast] as possible when I lost that last point, because I know that in any moment I [would lose my] head.

“But it’s tough, no, for me to leave Australian Open like this, because I think that I played really good. I play an unbelievable match. Also Kei, he play really good, and that’s sad to leave like this.”

(And we thought our Aussie players had attitude problems...)

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