Spanish Tennis Player Has a Meltdown During Australian Open, Throws Bag Across Court After Loss

After losing the match on Monday, Pablo Carreño Busta let his emotions get the best of him

Australian Open 2019, Day Eight, Tennis, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 21 Jan 2019
Photo: James Gourley/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Pablo Carreño Busta made quite the scene at the Australian Open on Monday night.

The Spanish tennis player, 27, lost to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a tight five-set match after challenging a controversial call that ultimately led to his defeat and emotional meltdown, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Up 8-5 in the fifth set tie-breaker, Carreño Busta hit a ball which skimmed the net, landed on the line, and was called out by an official, according to the outlet. Despite the call, Nishikori, 29, continued playing and hit the ball past Carreño Busta to score.

After challenging the play — claiming that the line judge’s call was incorrect and the point should be replayed — the umpire gave the point to Nishikori, Yahoo! Sports reported.

The Japanese tennis player then went on to score the next four points, defeating Carreño Busta and advancing in the tournament.

Carreño Busta looked calm at first, shaking hands with his opponent and holding himself back from throwing his racquet. But it was short-lived as his anger soon consumed him, causing Carreño Busta to pick up his tennis bag and throw it across the court.

He also angrily shouted at the umpire, which caused the crowd to “boo” him off the court.

After calming down, Carreño Busta later apologized for his actions in a post-match interview.

“Obviously I’m very sad 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, according to BBC.

Australian Open 2019, Day Eight, Tennis, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 21 Jan 2019
Pablo Carreno Busta. James Gourley/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

“It’s tough for me to leave the Australian Open like this because I think I played an unbelievable match. Also Kei, he played really good,” he added.

Carreño Busta also issued an apology on his Twitter account shortly after the emotional ordeal.

“I want to apologize for the way I left the court tonight in the AO,” he tweeted early Tuesday. “Obviously, it has been a totally unfortunate reaction on my part and out of place. It is difficult to explain the frustration you feel after playing for 5 hours on the court and having what happened happen.”

The athlete also explained that there was “no justification” for his reaction, thanked his fans for their support and encouragement, and reassured his followers that the final moments of the game did not reflect his character.

“Rest assured that Pablo Carreno is the player who fought on the court for 5 hours and not the last 5 seconds,” he finished.

2019 Australian Open - Day 8
Pablo Carreno Busta. Mark Kolbe/Getty

Carreño Busta joins a long list of tennis players, including Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Jimmy Connors, that have also let their emotions get the best on them on the court.

In addition, Carreño Busta’s public meltdown comes just four months after tennis great Serena Williams was fined $17,000 following her controversial loss to Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open final.

The match was filled with tension between Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who Williams called “a thief” after he accused her of cheating. Williams, 37, did not hold back when it came to verbally criticizing Ramos throughout the match, which ultimately cost her the game.

RELATED VIDEO: Serena Williams Fires Back After Tennis Tournament CEO Says Female Players ‘Ride on the Coattails of Men’

Her loss has since sparked a conversation around sexism in tennis, and in interviews with reporters following the loss, Williams said she feels her male counterparts are often given more leniency when venting their frustrations at umpires.

She has also long spoken about the apparent unfair treatment she is given in relation to the sport, such as being routinely drug tested more times than any other male or female player.

Tennis star Billy Jean King supported Williams in her fight for equality, tweeting after her match, “When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ & there are no repercussions.”

At this time, it is not clear if Carreño Busta will be fined for his actions.

Related Articles