MELBOURNE -- A bizarre bust-up over a banana has typified a horror start to the Australian Open by the U.S. women's contingent.
CoCo Vandeweghe entered the first major of the year boasting a career-high ranking of nine.
But the combustible American crashed out at the first hurdle on Monday, losing her temper and the first-round match to Hungarian Timea Babos 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
The low point came when Vandeweghe was hit with a code violation for taking too long to return to the court because she had yet to finish eating a banana, which she claimed had not been provided on time at the change of ends.
"I'm waiting for the bananas," she railed at chair umpire Fergus Murphy.
"Why should I feel uncomfortable because the court is ill-prepared?"
Murphy was unmoved, slugging her with a code violation for time-wasting.
In the enforced absence of seven-time champion Serena Williams, Vandeweghe was part of an ignominious 0-8 start to the Open by American women.
"In women's tennis, anything can happen when there is no Serena Williams," Babos said.
It was a stunning turn-around from last year's US Open when the host nation provided all four women's semifinalists - Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Venus Williams and Vandeweghe - the first time that had happened in 36 years.