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Beyond the Baseline

Mikhail Youzhny melts down (again), smashes racket at French Open

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrgKTYIvWCo

By Nick Zaccardi

PARIS -- Mikhail Youzhny's latest outburst came during his 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 loss to No. 12 Tommy Haas in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday. Youzhny, the No. 29 seed, went down 3-0 in the second set (after losing the first set in 22 minutes) on Court Suzanne Lenglen and took out his frustrations on his chair via his racket.

Count it: The Russian whacked it nine times, causing the racket to splinter.

Later, Youzhny was asked about the incident at the beginning of his news conference.

Question: You were very frustrated I know in that second set. Have you ever beat your racket up so badly before?

Youzhny: Yeah, it was sometimes.

Question: Have you ever managed to knock the head off?

Youzhny: You know, in this situation you try to do everything maybe can help you come back to the court. But I try this way; it doesn't help really.

Question: Who's your racket manufacturer?

Youzhny: Head.

Question: Do you think they'll keep letting you use their rackets?

Youzhny: Yeah, actually I play in Head 20 years already. It's good rackets. It was problems not. ... You know, so it's bad luck for that racket.

Youzhny, 30, held serve three times the entire match and won 39 percent of his first-serve points, failing woefully in a bid to make his second French Open quarterfinal (2010). Instead, the resurgent Haas, 35, made his first French Open quarterfinal, where he will play Novak Djokovic. Haas needed 13 match points and more than 4½ hours to outlast John Isner in the third round Saturday. He dumped Youzhny in 1:24 on Monday.

Meanwhile, this brings to mind some of Youzhny's previous on-court episodes. At least year's French Open, he felt the urge to apologize after losing 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 to David Ferrer, writing "SORRI" in the clay.

Mikhail Youzhny (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

Perhaps his most memorable was a 2008 racket smash against his head that drew blood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi-CgSO9Evw
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