There were some appalling scenes at a Challenger event in France as tennis players Adrian Andreev and Corentin Moutet almost came to blows on the court.
As footage captured by fans and posted on social media demonstrated, the two players had an angry exchange at the net at the end of their ill-tempered match with the umpire having to zip off his chair and separate them before any punches were thrown.
World No. 247 Andreev eventually overcame the Frenchman in three sets, 2-6 7-6 7-6, before the duo squared off in a shocking moment at the event.
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Moutet, who is the world No. 64, later explained in an interview following his defeat that his opponent had said "f*** you" to him on two separate occasions, which riled him up.
After a very frosty handshake at the net that clearly saw both players grip each other's hands far too tightly, shoulder barges and shouting ensued.
The umpire swiftly intervened to avoid any further violence after the pair continued to exchange shoves and angry words.
Moutet took to social media later on and gave his side of the story as he lamented the conduct of his opponent.
"I don't want to apologise for what happened late in the game," he wrote.
"When a player allows himself to say 'f*** you' twice while looking me in the eye, I can't help but make him understand in my own way that these are not things that are done.
"He threatened me and asked me to wait for him at the exit of the court ... something I did, of course. I had trouble finding him for 10 minutes.
"Indeed, he was hidden on the other side behind six security people," he continued.
"I heard your threats, so when you get out of the room they hid you in, I will be very happy to see you carry them out. So I'm waiting for you impatiently, we can talk calmly."
Referring to being handed a wildcard from the organisers, he concluded: "I did my best, I would have liked to go further to honour it better. I'm sorry for it."
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