Nick Kyrgios has finally run out of inspiration at the ATP Finals as he bowed out of the doubles alongside mate Thanasi Kokkinakis in familiar racquet-smashing fashion at the season-ending championship in Turin.
Australia's Special Ks had been hoping to earn another victory over Olympic champions Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic to avoid elimination and barnstorm their way into the semi-finals in Turin on Friday evening.
But it was the Croats who won their 'grudge' rematch 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) to race unbeaten into the last-four, making up for their heated defeat at the Australian Open to the home pair.
And Kyrgios cut a picture of frustration as he couldn't replicate his magic of Wednesday night when he almost single-handedly turned the Special Ks' fortunes in the comeback win over Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.
When the Aussies' one glimmer of hope came near the end of the second set, Kyrgios was so mad at missing a chance to earn their only break point that he hurled his racquet furiously into the court and got a code violation.
There was a bit of needle in the air at the Pala Alpitour arena again after the dramas of January when the Croats were less than impressed by going down to defeat at Melbourne Park amid a bear-pit atmosphere unashamedly stirred up by Kyrgios.
Pavic later described Kyrgios as "a clown and an idiot" while the Australian showman reported that the Croats' coach and trainer had challenged the Special Ks to a gymnasium fight after the match.
So there was evidently no love lost as Pavic, like Kyrgios a combustible character, went to war with his old adversary, and came out on top, roaring his delight on court afterwards following a remarkable display of serving from both pairs.
Ultimately, in a match of no breaks, it was Kokkinakis who proved the weak link again, his lone double fault and missed volley in the tiebreak costing the Ks the first set.
Serve again completely dominated in the second stanza as Kyrgios needed courtside physio treatment on his neck and upper back in what was to be his last match of a demanding year highlighted by his charge to the Wimbledon final.
Kokkinakis, though, will go on to join Australia's Davis Cup team for next week's finals in Malaga and may look back in some frustration at how he also disappointed in the second tiebreak too, as Mektic and Pavic earned the key mini-breaks off his deliveries to race into an unassailable 6-1 lead.