Nick Kyrgios escapes Australian Open disqualification despite hitting young boy with needless shot

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Nick Kyrgios and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis and the young who was hit
Nick Kyrgios and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis and the young who was hit

Nick Kyrgios flirted with disaster in his latest crowd-pleasing doubles victory alongside close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis. In only the fourth game of their quarter-final, Kyrgios smacked a loose ball away in such a dangerous manner that it cannoned into the body of a young boy.

Kyrgios admitted after the match that he had feared being defaulted. The umpire, Eva Asderaki-Moore, climbed down from her chair, rushing over to check how serious the situation was. But Kyrgios also moved quickly. He presented the boy with a racket, which stemmed his tears and left him smiling sheepishly as the TV cameras zoomed in.

“I saw it heading towards the kid and I thought, ‘Oh no, I am getting defaulted’,” Kyrgios told Channel Nine after the match. “I was glad he was okay and I gave him the racket.”

GETTY IMAGES - GETTY IMAGES
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY IMAGES
Australia's Nick Kyrgios boy - AFP
Australia's Nick Kyrgios boy - AFP

This unfortunate incident will no doubt excite the ire of Novak Djokovic’s army of fans, who resent Kyrgios anyway for the podcast appearance he made in 2019, when he called Djokovic “cringeworthy” and said “I just can’t stand him”.

Remember that Djokovic was defaulted from the 2020 US Open for whacking a loose ball into the throat of a line-judge. In Kyrgios’s case, he was standing at the net when he smashed a soft return from Michael Venus that he knew was irrelevant to the match, because Kokkinakis’s serve had flicked the net-cord on the way over. The ball caromed off the court surface and climbed into the stands at Mach 10.

Had Asderaki-Moore ended the match then – as she would have been entitled to do, by the letter of the law – there might have been a riot. The brand-new 5,000-seater Kia Arena has been the host for the last three matches involving the so-called “Special Ks”, and it is increasingly hard to get a glimpse of the court. These two larrikins (Aussie slang for wide boys) have put on the most eccentric and compelling show of the whole tournament.

The crowd support in this small but perfectly formed arena has been rabid, verging on feral. The overwrought atmosphere can be rough on visiting teams, as Venus discovered on Tuesday when he was booed and jeered every time he misplaced his ball toss and had to repeat it. But Channel Nine’s ratings will certainly benefit from Tuesday’s result, which found Kyrgios and Kokkinakis overcoming Venus and Tim Puetz in three sets: 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

 Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios - GETTY IMAGES
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios - GETTY IMAGES

After applauding the fans at the close of the match, Kyrgios said "Unreal scenes. I’m not finished. I want to win this f------ thing!" To which Kokkinakis addressed the crowd with the words “The rowdier the better. Sink p---- [more local lingo, meaning beer this time] and come here.”

Just to finish off their quirky double act, Kyrgios then came into the interview room and said “Me and Thanasi are definitely role models to the youth in Australia. We are just relatable.”