Alex de Minaur smashed his racquet into the court in frustration after being bundled out of the third round at the US Open in the most dramatic of fashions.
The Aussie was sent packing at Flushing Meadows after a thrilling third-round tussle against in-form Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
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COLD: US Open star's frosty post-match act towards rivalThe Spanish 12th seed overcame an injury scare to complete a 6-1 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) win over the Australian No.1, with an extraordinary tweener on match point.
In what was easily one of the most entertaining final points at this year's grand slam in New York, de Minaur looked to have his opponent on the ropes sending him scrambling back to the baseline to retrieve a backhand lob.
De Minaur was well positioned at the net as Carreno Busta played a desperate shot from between his legs.
However, the Aussie could only get the frame of his racquet to the ball, sending it flying out and handing the Spaniard the match.
The frustration was obvious to see for de Minaur as he slammed his racquet into the ground in anger at himself, before congratulating Carreno Busta on a worthy triumph.
"Oh you're kidding! What a finish," Todd Woodbridge said in commentary for Channel Nine.
The nerve-jangling final point sent tennis fans into a frenzy on social media.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) September 3, 2022
de Minaur v PCB that match point WAS CRAZY pic.twitter.com/whuVZANpQG
— Realz (@RealzTenisFanz) September 3, 2022
Carreno Busta and Alex De minaur just played the best tennis I've watched all year
— Frenzy (@ben_gudda) September 3, 2022
If you did not see Carreno Busta's winning match point vs. De Minaur, check it out. Incredible.
Second straight match where his clinching match point was quite something (Bublik).
— Ravi Ubha (@raviubha) September 3, 2022
De Minaur knocked out by a between the legs tweener. Harsh #USOpen2022
— Matt (@Mattys123) September 3, 2022
That was an incredible match point between PCB and De Minaur with some cat like reflexes. Pablo won the match point and celebrated like he’d just won the title
— Vansh (@vanshv2k) September 3, 2022
De Minaur just did the most appropriate racket smash in history. No one can blame him for that one.#USOpen
— Pat (@MythicallyMad) September 3, 2022
Think the only show is in Ashe tonight?
Pablo Carreno Buta just ended his match in this fashion 🤯 pic.twitter.com/3MQcM9sK1z
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2022
De Minaur's best grand slam results have consistently come at Flushing Meadows, with the world No.20 reaching the quarter-finals in 2020, fourth round the year before and the last 32 on two other occasions.
But Carreno Busta, the tournament's 12th seed, a two-time US Open semi-finalist and recent winner of the Montreal Masters, had too much firepower on the Grandstand show court.
The big-hitting Spaniard bludgeoned 36 winners, broke de Minaur five times and dropped serve only once to progress to the fourth round in three hours and 33 minutes.
He blew de Minaur off the court in the first two sets before being slowed by an apparent adductor or back issue.
Alex de Minaur comeback falls short
De Minaur threatened a famous fightback after winning the third set and taking the fourth to a tiebreaker.
Carreno Busta had offered him hope when his level clearly dropped, then he took a medical time-out after conceding the third set to have treatment.
The World No.15 also changed shoes, with his team handing him a new set of orthotics, seemingly for support.
The stoppage and gear change initially appeared to do the trick, with Carreno Busta holding serve to love immediately upon the resumption.
De Minaur's confidence grew, though, and the match seemed headed towards a deciding fifth set before the Spaniard won a remarkable match point.
After being lobbed, Carreno Busta didn't look a hope of reaching the ball but somehow managed to play a tweener over de Minaur's head.
De Minaur could only manage to get a frame to the ball before throwing his racquet down in anguish at losing the match.
The 18th seed's departure leaves Nick Kyrgios as the last Australian remaining in the men's singles draw, with the 27-year-old playing American wildcard JJ Wolf later on Friday in New York (Saturday AEST).
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