Tennis: Alexander Bublik smashes three racquets in epic meltdown in first-round exit at Open Sud de France

A raging Alexander Bublik has laid waste to three racquets in a row at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, as the defending champion exited the ATP 250 event in the first round.

Bublik, who was born in Russia but represents Kazakhstan, lost 4-6 7-6(12) 6-7(3) to local hope Gregoire Barrere.

World No.50 Bublik saved three match points in a marathon second-set tie-breaker to level the contest and the 25-year-old was leading 4-2 in the third.

However, he would lose the lead and then his cool as he trailed 6-0 in a third-set tiebreak.

The sixth seed, who also went out in the first round of the Australian Open last month, drew jeers from the crowd as he slammed his racquet onto the court before grabbing two more and destroying those too.

Barrere wrapped up the match on his sixth match point, while Bublik finished with 14 double faults.