DANIIL MEDVEDEV smashed up and crashed out to surrender the world No1 spot back to Novak Djokovic after just two weeks – without the Serb even hitting a ball this week.
And he even made his opponent wipe up parts of his broken racket after shattering it to smithereens.
Russian ace Med, 26, needed to reach the quarter-finals at the prestigious Indian Wells Masters 1000 in California to retain top spot after overtaking Djokovic on February 28 – despite unvaccinated Djok being banned from competing.
But after making a decent start and taking the first set against maverick Frenchman Gael Monfils, he capitulated and was dumped out in the third round.
Monfils earned his second career victory over an ATP world No1, completing a 4-6 6-3 6-1 win.
But for all the 35-year-old Frenchman’s brilliance – and there was certainly plenty of that – Medvedev did not help himself.
And after suffering a break at the beginning of the third set and gesticulating to his box, he unleashed his anger.
Medvedev slammed his racket down to the hard court repeatedly, obliterating the frame.
But after the pair changed ends, Monfils came out to serve… only to find racket debris spread across his half of the court.
The showman grabbed a towel and started sweeping the court to brush it clear as Medvedev stood sheepishly at the other end.
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Incredibly there were still leftover bits on the court when Rafael Nadal served against Dan Evans in the following match at the BNP Paribas Open – dubbed the fifth-biggest tournament of the season.
Minutes earlier, Monfils had wrapped up the second set in spectacular fashion.
The world No28 – married to Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina – produced a masterful underarm serve that kicked SIDEWAYS due to the absurd amount of spin he managed.
And little more than 30 minutes later he was doing Black Panther’s ‘Wakanda forever’ salute in celebration.
Medvedev – playing as a neutral due to his country’s invasion of Ukraine – had lost his head and could not deal with the onslaught from the other end, just six weeks after losing the Australian Open from two sets up against Nadal.