Alexander Bublik decided to retire in his second round match against Pablo Carreno Busta in the third set at 6-4 6-7(3) 3-4 at the Monte Carlo Masters for no obvious reason.
The world No. 36 squandered a match point at 6-4 5-4 up before Carreno Busta forced a decider after fighting back to win the tie-break.
Bublik double-faulted to go down 4-3 in the third set, and it was at that point the Kazakh decided to shake hands with Carreno Busta and the umpire before leaving the court despite appearing uninjured.
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His bizarre withdrawal was similar to the one made by Victoria Azarenka in the third round of the Miami Open last month when she withdrew at 2-6 0-3 down against 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova.
Bublik had already stirred up some controversy early on in the match.
After going a break up in the first game of the opening set, he reeled off three successive underarm serves which got him to 40-0.
The 24-year-old knocked out 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in three sets to reach the second round of the competition, but even after beating his Swiss opponent he expressed his hatred for clay.
"The only thing I can say is I wish Stan a good recovery," he told Amazon Prime.
"If he was in shape I wouldn’t be standing here. I wish the clay will end and we go onto grass! There was no match from my side, I hate clay, that is a statement - I hate this surface!
"I don’t think I turned anything around, he was not very healthy at the end of the second set and third set. It’s a clay court, it’s not for me."
He then told the Tennis Channel: "It’s a clay court, I’m running like an elephant, I cannot stop, I cannot explode, I cannot do anything."
Carreno Busta will face the winner of Federico Delbonis and Alexander Zverev in the third round, while Bublik will turn his attention to the Barcelona Open - a clay tournament - next week.
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