- Baghdatis was down two sets when he let loose with a spectacular outburst
- He destroys his racket by smashing it into the ground, then wrecks three more
- He was penalized $800, a figure much smaller than the massive hits on YouTube
The breaking of plates may be a popular tradition practiced in his homeland, but Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis has just taken the pastime to a whole new level.
Playing against Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday night, Baghdatis was down two sets and looking shaky in the third when he let loose with a spectacular outburst.
Sitting in his chair at a changeover, Baghdatis destroys his racket by smashing it into the blue Margaret Court Arena surface seven times, before calmly handing it to the ball boy. He follows through by giving another racket the same treatment.
But it doesn't end there -- he repeats the process by demolishing two more rackets, not even bothering to unwrap them from their plastic first.
The colorful tantrum seemed to briefly help; he went on to take the third set, but finally lost to Wawrinka 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 5-7 6-1.
On Thursday Baghdatis was penalized with an $800 fine, a figure much smaller than the hundreds of thousands of hits his performance has attracted on YouTube.
The former Australian Open runner-up's official Website recounts his defeat to Wawrinka, but fails to mention his 60-second, racket-smashing eruption.
Baghdatis' antics have drawn analysis from sporting commentators and fellow tennis players alike, including five-time Australian Open women's champion Serena Williams.
"I've never done that. That's impressive, wow," she said in an interview on the Australian Open Website.