Earlier in the day, a sluggish Djokovic crashed out of the singles event to Philipp Kohlschreiber.
And shortly afterward, he stepped back onto court with Fabio Fognini to play doubles against Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.
Djokovic and Fognini won the first set 7-6 and had three break points to break Rojer and Tecau at 2-1 in the second set.
But they failed to do so and Djokovic decided to take his anger out on the back fence.
In a stunning show of frustrations, Djokovic threw his racket at the fence so hard it left a visible hole in it.
The crowd could be heard gasping and the commentator on the match said: “Djokovic has lost it.”
Djokovic was aiming to win his sixth Indian Wells title in the singles but was way off his usual level.
And commentator Nick Lester reckons off the court controversy involving Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could have played a role in his defeat.
He said: “Whatever the problems were with Djokovic, whether he is less than 100 per-cent medically or whether the off-court politics have got to him – who knows, Kohlschreiber has beaten him.
“We didn’t see the real Novak Djokovic here.
“Why? We might find out later on this afternoon. Maybe we’ll never know.”
Yet Djokovic and Fognini were triumphant in the doubles to book their place in the semi finals.
The duo won 7-6(6), 2-6, 10-6 on Court 3 as Djokovic chases just a second career doubles title.