Nick Kyrgios cops bizarre pre-game code violation at Australian Open

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, pictured here in action at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis copped a code violation before they even stepped on court. Image: Channel Nine

There were strange scenes at the Australian Open on Saturday when Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis were hit with a code violation before they even stepped on court.

Just hours after Kyrgios' heartbreaking singles loss to Dominic Thiem, he and close friend Kokkinakis advanced to the second round of the men's doubles.

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In what resembled more of a schoolyard hit-around than a grand slam clash, the Aussie pair brushed aside South Africa's Lloyd Harris and 46-year-old Austrian Julian Knowle in a 6-2 6-4 win.

And nothing showed how relaxed Kyrgios and Kokkinakis were more than the fact they didn't even make it onto the court in time.

The Aussies were hit with a delay of game violation after they failed to start the match within the allotted time after completing their warmups.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis looked gobsmacked when chair umpire Louise Azemar Engzell hit them with a code violation as they were sitting in their courtside chairs.

"We were waiting for you to say time," Kyrgios said.

"You can't just give us a warning? You can't just say, 'are you guys ready?'

"You're doing a good job. I get you're nervous."

Thankfully for the Aussies it didn't derail the match.

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For the showman Kyrgios, playing without fans was a far cry from the previous night's enthralling clash with Thiem, which he lost in five sets in front of a heaving crowd just before Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown kicked in.

"We were very excited to play in front of fans on showcourt three on a Saturday arvo with everyone just getting p***ed," Kyrgios said.

"That would've been awesome to go out there and give them something to kind of go out with a bang.

"But it's good that we got the win today and good just to get our bodies moving as well."

Kyrgios sat out of tennis last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. In April, he bluntly ruled out playing a grand slam without fans.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, pictured here in action against Lloyd Harris and Julian Knowle at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in action against Lloyd Harris and Julian Knowle at the Australian Open. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

But circumstances changed rapidly on Friday when the Victorian government announced a snap five-day lockdown as a result of Melbourne's latest virus outbreak.

"It was tough hearing the news ... and I knew that it was going to affect our doubles match," Kyrgios said.

"But ultimately it is what it is and we've got to just abide by the rules and hopefully we can just finally get over this pandemic in Australia.

"The world's a bit far behind but hopefully by next year we can just not worry about everything and everyone can just have free movement outside and watch some of the best Aussies play.

"For now, we can't do much."

The pair enjoyed the relatively low-pressure experience, sharing jokes and laughing between points in conversations Kokkinakis described as only "one per cent" tactical.

"Maybe a little bit, but it was definitely more just rubbish," he said.

with AAP

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