MONTE CARLO, April 23, 2008 (AFP)
Russia's Marat Safin suffered a bad-tempered exit at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday as the lid blew spectacularly once again on his famously explosive temper.
The former world number one, and double Grand Slam title winner, was knocked out in the second round by Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3 with Safin suffering another on-court meltdown.
The Russian, who has slumped to 93 in the world and needed a wildcard invitation just to get into the main draw, became increasingly frustrated with himself and chair umpire Carlos Berado.
In the seventh game of the second set he destroyed his raquet against a courtside chair before screaming at Berado: 'Give me a f****** break!' as he debated another contentious call.
But Safin, who also conducted an ongoing debate with watching ATP Tour supervisor Thomas Karlsberg, only had himself to blame for his untidy exit as he fired an ugly 52 unforced errors in his 77-minute match.
The 28-year-old won the last of his 15 career titles at the 2005 Australian Open and on Wednesday's evidence, it may prove to be the final triumph of one of the sport's most colourful talents.
Later Wednesday, top seed and world number one Roger Federer, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal for the last two seasons, opens his campaign against Spanish qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, the world 137.
Triple champion Nadal, the second seed, faces Croatia's Mario Ancic in what will be the Spaniard's claycourt bow in 2008 as he begins his build-up to what he hopes will be a fourth successive French Open title.
Nadal boasts a formidable record on the surface winning 107 of 110 matches on clay in the last three years, a sequence which has also yielded 17 of his 23 career titles.



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