Nick Kyrgios came perilously close to copping a game penalty in his win over Ugo Humbert at the Australian Open on Wednesday night.
The mercurial Aussie had a running battle with chair umpire Marijana Veljovic throughout the five-set tussle, which Kyrgios eventually won 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.
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Kyrgios was left fuming a number of times throughout the match, with the technology that detects lets on serves appearing to be malfunctioning.
Kyrgios claimed a number of his serves were going well over the net, only for the ‘cyclops’ technology to beep and detect a let.
So the Aussie was fuming when he dropped the first set, smashing his racquet and earning a code violation in the process.
But things got even uglier when he lost the third set, with Veljovic docking Kyrgios a point when he angrily smashed a ball into her umpire’s chair.
After the second code violation, Kyrgios was at risk of earning a game penalty if he erred again.
But Veljovic gave him a huge let-off when he swore while raging at the net technology once again in the fifth set.
“It’s bulls***, look at the score,” Kyrgios said.
“It’s ruining the game. It’s ruining the game.
“You don’t understand it’s f***ing one-all in the fifth set.”
Veljovic could have easily hit Kyrgios with a code violation for the audible obscenities, which would have seen him deducted the whole service game and put him in a whole early in the deciding set.
Nick Kyrgios calls for change to net technology
Kyrgios had earlier vented his frustrations to Veljovic about the let farce.
“Turn the machine off, it’s ruining the game, you’ve gotta understand me,” he said.
“It’s missing the net by that much. How do you not understand that? Did you turn it off?
“Turn it off. I’m not playing until you turn it off. It’s this far off the net.”
He then expended in his post-match press conference.
“Having technology like that, you sound like an idiot trying to argue against it,” he said.
“But even when (Humbert) was serving, it was literally this far (gestures with his hands to indicate about 20cm) over the net and the net thing went off.
“I was like there’s no chance this was accurate.
“If you have a device where you can turn down the sensitivities, I just think there’s too many variables.
“I don’t know. I don’t have the solution … maybe they need to upgrade their technology.”
Kyrgios will next meet US Open champion Dominic Thiem for a spot in the last 16.
“I have a lot of respect for him. I think his style of tennis is not easy to play. He's super physical,” he said of Thiem.
“But I'm not even thinking about it. I'm hurting just thinking about playing him right now.”
What a win from Nick Kyrgios! That was some sort of comeback! Could have definitely done without the constant criticism of the umpire, mind you. Onto the third round for another rollercoaster no doubt 🎾
— brad davidson (@braddavo) February 10, 2021
WOW. what a match!!! well played to Hubert, better luck next slam. Well done Kyrgios. Don’t love the attitude to the umpire but amazing tennis 🔥🔥 #AO
— RobynJane (@RobynJane91) February 10, 2021
— Janani (@njan85) February 10, 2021
#Kyrgios is an absolute embarrassment. An immature unsportsmanlike little whining brat. Intimidating the female umpire, underarm serves, using horrendous expletives with kids in the crowd just to name a few of his idiotic traits. #AO2021 https://t.co/eGjJhQ9aq8
— Mann (@mann_tennis) February 10, 2021
‘Ruining the game’: Nick Kyrgios demands chair umpire make immediate change https://t.co/llxx2qYDeM
# There’s certainly one peanut 🥜 ruining the game & it sure as hell ain’t the umpire 🥺 What a tosser this bloke really is
— Alan Edwards (@AlanEdw58236339) February 10, 2021
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