Nick Kyrgios put on a show for the fans, who apparently were just there to watch it.
The moody Australian tennis star suffered one more epic meltdown as he lost 7-6 6-3 to Yannick Sener at the Miami Open on Tuesday.
The Kyrgios era was full of throwing and hitting throws, plenty of hot words with chair referee Carlos Bernards and even a fan somehow trying to get a selfie when the tensions were at their peak.
After the match, Kyrgios continued to yell against Bernardes in a post-match press conference and on social media.
“When everyone in this crowd boos the referee, and becomes the center of attention, that’s not their job,” Kyrgios said. “Because nobody in that whole stadium bought a ticket to see him talk or play or do what he’s doing.”
“You have Jannik Sinner who is one of our greatest stars, and not to sound my horn, the majority of people are there to watch me play. And you had a guy talking when I was 40-0. He was talking. I was like, ‘What are you doing?” The crowd actually hated him so much. That they asked him to shut up. If you get booed from the crowd, you’re not doing a good job. He has spoken for himself and his feelings seem to have been hurt by what you said and the crowd said. You can’t be that if you’re a judge.”
The fireworks seemed to start when the walkie-talkie went off through a point at 4-4 in the first set. They benefited greatly during the first set of the tiebreak when Kyrgios missed a wide forehand and then hit his racket on the field. He was already upset with Bernardis, for reasons that were not immediately clear.
What is unsportsmanlike? What is not athletic? Bernardes asked repeatedly, before shouting that he wanted to speak to the tournament official.
“Bring me someone now!” said Kyrgios, then smashed his racket on the court four times.
That’s when Bernardes issued the match penalty, breaking Kyrgios before the second set could begin, and Sener maintained the lead the rest of the way.
Kyrgios’ post-match frustrations continued to rage on social media.
“Some circus was that day!” Kyrgios wrote via an action video posted to his Instagram Story. “Great and court judgment on the 1000 master (laughing emoji). All I said to get a point penalty is that my friend can do the judging job. He said his feelings were hurt. Hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Get new referees.”
Kyrgios said he’s been in a happier place lately, although that happiness eluded him earlier this month in Indian Wells. After losing in the quarter-finals there to Rafael Nadal and shaking hands, Kyrgios went to his seat and break his racket – Who ended up almost hitting the boy’s ball. This earned him a $25,000 fine for a combination of his antics and outspoken obscenity.
Kyrgios revealed Tuesday that he found the ball boy from Indian Wells a day later and gave him a racket as an apology.
“This is something he will remember like his whole life. The ATP does not… pick up on anything media about it,” Kyrgios said.
Another fine may be imposed, because his stated happiness was not present on Tuesday either.
Meanwhile, the sinner didn’t know much about what made Kyrgios so upset.
“I just tried to stay in my area, and I thought that was the right choice,” Sener said.
This isn’t the first time Kyrgios’ antics on the court have overshadowed his play.
In 2019, he walked off the field and threw a chair on red clay during a tantrum during his second round match at the Italian Open, resulting in him tripping and being fined. Kyrgios was suspended by the ATP Tour for two months in 2016 for “losing” a match and insulting fans during a loss at the Shanghai Masters. In 2015, Kyrgios insulted Stan Wawrinka with rude comments during a match in Montreal, earning him a $12,500 fine and a 28-day ban.
“I know I’m a good person,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t really care, but I don’t understand what you could tempt me into today.”
– with AP
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