ATP tour hothead Nick Kyrgios was disqualified from the Italian Open on Thursday after an on-court meltdown during his second-round match with Casper Ruud.
Set off by spectators
The 24-year-old Australian had evened the match at one set each and had just had his service broken by Ruud when he started shouting toward the crowd.
Kyrgios apparently noticed spectators or photographers moving near the court while he was serving, which set him off on a profanity-laced tirade.
Kyrgios walked toward his seats on the court, slamming his racquet on the clay, which drew a penalty from the chair umpire.
He then kicked a water bottle and picked up a small chair/stool, throwing it onto the court. Kyrgios stalked around for a few more moments as a ball boy put the chair back in its place.
Finally, he packed up his things, shook hands with Ruud and the umpire, and stalked off the court.
Here’s a summation from Tennis Channel:
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) May 16, 2019
And here’s a view from the stands:
Not his first meltdown
Kyrgios, who is undoubtedly talented, has admitted to tanking multiple matches in his career, has been verbally abusive toward fans in the past, and has insulted his fellow players on several occasions.
Just this week Kyrgios insulted Novak Djokovic, currently ranked No. 1 in the world.
“I just feel like he’s got a sick obsessions with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be [Roger] Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him,” Kyrgios said. “This celebration thing” — Djokovic blows kisses to the crowd — “is so cringeworthy.”
He also mocked Djokovic for withdrawing from the Australian Open several years ago because of the intense heat.
In the same interview with American tennis writer Ben Rothenberg, Kyrgios also called Spain’s Fernando Verdasco “the most arrogant person ever ... He thinks he’s God’s gift.”
In light of his behavior on Thursday, those comments are laughably ironic.
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