Melbourne: Super-cool Swiss Roger Federer laughed off the racquet-smashing antics of Marcos Baghdatis but gave a reminder that he was not always the perfect gentleman on court.
Cypriot Baghdatis was fined for an extraordinary tantrum on Wednesday, stunning spectators by destroying four racquets as he briefly lost the plot during his second round defeat to Switzerland`s Stanislas Wawrinka.
As footage of the tirade went viral, Baghdatis was fined USD 1,250 by the tournament referee yesterday for "abuse of racquets and equipment".
World number three Federer, renowned as much for his controlled conduct on the court as his phenomenal success, said he was amused by the incident.
"It`s been a while (since I smashed a racquet)," said Federer. "I did see the highlights. I was watching some of the match, but I missed that part, unfortunately. I thought it was funny.”
"You know, he strings with the same guys I string with, you know, so I felt bad for them for stringing three, four racquets that weren`t used afterwards."
The 16-time grand slam champion, speaking after his third round win over Ivo Karlovic, said such an on-court outburst from him would be a shock to those who could not remember his youth, when he was known as a hot-head.
"People don`t remember me from 10, 12 years ago. They only remember me from sort of seven, eight years ago where I never threw a racquet," he said.
"So that`s also why I just know how to keep my act together, and, I don`t know, guess be a good role model and just keep it calm. Works well."
Belarus`s Victoria Azarenka said she had also put her racquet-smashing days behind her before her climb to world number three last year.
"Bad emotions is more in the back days a little bit. Beginning of last year I think it was the last (incident)," she said.
"Breaking racquets, you know. Having that almost crying face on the court, as a lot of players do. But I try to stay composed and control it."