The 25-year-old was competing at the Open Sud de France as defending champion. He surprisingly lost the first set, but bounced back to take the match against the unseeded Gregoire Barrere to a deciding third set.
Bublik, the world number 50, promisingly moved 4-2 ahead in the third set, but then things started to unravel for the sixth seed. In the tiebreak, with Bublik coughing up three double faults and falling 6-0 behind, his composure failed him and he smashed his racquet on the court five times.
He then walked to his bag to get another racquet, which he also proceeded to whack on the floor. Not quite done, he grabbed another racquet and repeatedly banged that one on the court.
Unsurprisingly, he was warned for racquet abuse.
His title defense came to an early end as Barrere advanced to the second round with a 6-4 6-7 (12) 7-6 (3) victory, with Bublik’s 14 double faults proving costly.