Kristof Vliegen, a journeyman pro from Belgium, decapitated his racket in frustration on the red clay of Monaco during his first-round match against Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tournament on April 13. Ljubicic won 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. Through Dec. 3 the 27-year-old Vliegen was ranked 111th in the world, had a 2009 match record of 10-13 and had earned just under $200,000 in prize money for the year.
"IT WAS TOWARD THE END OF THE MATCH, LATE AFTERNOON. THE SUN WAS GOING DOWN, AND VLIEGEN WAS IN THE SHADE. SOMETIMES RAGE IS NOT ENOUGH, AND IT TOOK TWO TRIES FOR HIM TO BREAK HIS RACKET."