Alexander Bublik was booed by Moselle Open fans when he failed to pull off the stunt in the final
World tennis number 41 Alexander Bublik was booed by fans at the Moselle Open on Sunday after trying to pull off a trick shot in the final.
The 25-year-old, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2016, was facing Lorenzo Sonego in Metz for a chance to win his second ATP career title after tasting success at the Open Sud de France in February.
Already a set down and trailing the second set 1-3, Bublik decided not to smash an easy winner home and save a break point after being teed up when Sonego returned his serve.
Instead, Bublik turned his racket around, gripped it by the frame and played a shot with the handle, which ultimately led to Sonego winning the point and earning a 4-1 lead in the second set.
"No, no way," the match's commentator said in shock as Bublik readied himself for the stunt.
"What is he thinking, Alexander Bublik?" the commentator asked, as boos from the crowd rang out around the Arenes de Metz.
"Yeah, no wonder the boos come," he added. "This is a final of an ATP-250 event."
"He's one break down, now he's two breaks down. He is unraveling fast. Outrageous. What is happening here? I can't believe he's done that."
Unaffected by the response, a nonchalant Bublik laughed to himself while sat down before a change of ends.
"I cannot believe what Alexander Bublik just did during an ATP final," tweeted a popular tennis reporter. "I mean, it's not even fun."
Bublik's meltdown contributed to Sonego going on to win the match 7-6, 6-2 and sneaking into the ATP top 50 after securing the third tour title of his career.
Sonego refused to criticize his opponent for his antics, and noted that it is "really tough" to play against Bublik - who he described as an "unbelievable player with an amazing serve" and a "good talent."
Known for struggling in Grand Slams and never passing the third round, Bublik and his reputation suffered a blow after an impressive Open Sud de France win against former world number two Alexander Zverev in the final back in February.
Switching to Kazakhstani citizenship in November 2016, Bublik can try and improve on his poor showing at major tournaments at the Australian Open early next year and a run to the semi-finals in the men's doubles there in 2020 alongside Mikhail Kukushkin.
Bublik has frequently spoken of his dislike for professional tennis, declaring back in 2020: "I hate tennis with all my heart and only play for money."