Andrey Rublev claims he ‘killed himself’ mentally during storming collapse at Roland Garros … as Russian star insists ‘head is the problem’ after smashing racket and crashing out in third round

Andrey Rublev admitted: «I don’t remember ever behaving worse at a Slam» after he kicked and screamed his way out of the French Open.

The sixth seed was beaten by Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday and – far from the first time in his career – Rublev was the author of his own downfall.

After two breaks in the second set, the 26-year-old Muscovite hit the racket twice on the ground and when he went to sit on the bench, he kicked the bench three times.

Rublev let out a roar of frustration, smashing his racquet and bringing himself to tears.

After the match, he sat with his head bowed and his long red hair in a mess over his face, trying to explain such unnecessary self-sabotage.

Andrey Rublev admitted he «killed himself» on court after crashing out of the French Open

The Russian unleashed his rage and smashed his racket en route to a loss to Matteo Arnaldi

The Russian unleashed his rage and smashed his racket en route to a loss to Matteo Arnaldi

«Absolutely disappointed with myself, how I behaved, how I performed,» he said. “I think it was the first time I behaved so badly.

“The way I’ve been acting I’ve completely humbled myself and I’m giving Matteo the wings to fly and the third set flew unbelievably. It was too late to do anything.’

Rublev had a poor start to the clay court season, but came to Roland Garros with the wind in his sails after winning the Madrid Masters.

“I was struggling and then I got a really good result in Madrid. Now I’m playing well again. I feel like I have a good game, I’m improving. The problem is that I’m basically going to kill myself today, and that’s it.’

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He struggled to explain how things fell apart after losing the first set tiebreak and admitted he was ‘tanking’ towards the end of the second set. «I had chances in the tiebreak and I started the second set with emotions.

“But somehow I managed to come back. Then out of the blue, I’ll collapse again with myself, with my emotions, lose my serve and then lose it completely and basically almost – almost, no, I tank the second set and then it’s too late.»

Tennis is a frustrating game – go to your local courts for proof – and players have to endure its hardships alone. But it is hard to understand how this eloquent, mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll can become such a furious Mr. Hyde on the tennis court.

Rublev admitted that his

Rublev admitted that his «problem is the head» and regretted his outburst after things fell apart

At one point, the tennis star almost cried in frustration, losing in three sets

At one point, the tennis star almost cried in frustration, losing in three sets

Rublev’s incredible shot speed gives him the power to harass anyone in the game. But until he can calm the raging storms swirling in his mind, his full potential will unfortunately remain untapped.

In stark contrast to that, Rublev’s fellow redhead Jannik Sinner continued his quiet run of draw with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Russia’s Pavel Kotov.

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