Nick Kyrgios staged a bizarre mid-match protest during his win over fellow Aussie Harry Bourchier in an Australian Open warm-up event in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
Kyrgios was incensed after being hit with a time violation for taking too long between serves late in the second set at the Murray River Open.
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The polarising Aussie star put down his racquet and walked off to his courtside chair, telling the umpire he wasn’t playing until the issue was sorted out.
Kyrgios argued that he had already started his service motion when the serving clock struck zero, labelling the chair umpire a “smart arse” after calling for the tournament supervisor.
“I’m not playing. Get him (the supervisor) out. No, I don’t understand. I wanna talk to him,” he said.
“I’m not f***ing moving. It’s like you guys do it to just be funny. Bro, I was serving. Why’d you have to call it?”
Kyrgios claimed the chair umpire was making the situation about himself.
“Tennis is not about the umpires,” Kyrgios said.
“He's an extra to make sure all this s**t goes smoothly.
“I was in the motion of serving. Every technique is different. I wasn't bouncing the ball.
“So he’s a smarta*** and calls it? I have to go back and forth to get my towel. I was here, I was actually here serving.
“Then he says everyone’s service technique was the same.”
🤯KYRGIOS WALKS OFF!🤯
"I'm not playing!"😲
The Aussie has abandoned ship after a time violation against his serve... and he is NOT happy about it!
STREAM: https://t.co/VPvWjqOKIA#9WWOS #MelbourneSummerSeries pic.twitter.com/JlPeRwvqTe
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 3, 2021
Kyrgios only agreed to continue playing when the supervisor assured him he wouldn't be fined, however the strange scenes delayed the match for about five minutes.
“Do I get fined for that, yes or no?” Kyrgios asked.
“I’ve lost enough money to these peanuts.”
Tennis fans erupted over the Kyrgios protest, however the majority seemed to believe Kyrgios was right to be fuming.
Nick Kyrgios is the most entertaining person in all of sports and is my hero. I am deadly serious about this, and if you want to fight me, I'm not playing
— Anthony Sharwood ❄️ (@antsharwood) February 3, 2021
This is ridiculous especially when you compare it to other players on tour like Nadal and Djokovic.
Kyrgios is one of the quicker servers on tour 😂
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) February 3, 2021
Umpire involving himself in the game when he shouldn’t have been. Kyrgios 100% spot on here.
— Mark Alvey (@alvey5) February 3, 2021
He may be right, but his insolent behaviour is pathetic. Sign of our times that more than few people are on board with this.
— Garth King (@cutthekak) February 3, 2021
Another case of a chair umpire unnecessarily imposing himself on a the match.
One set of rules for the world’s best, another for Kyrgios.. #MelbourneSummerSeries
— Adrian Johnson (@Adrian9Johnson6) February 3, 2021
Kyrgios completely in the right. Umpire unnecessarily inserting himself into the game.
— Melbourne Musings (@MelbMusing) February 3, 2021
— Gisesa Jules (@CitizensActions) February 3, 2021
Nick Kyrgios overcomes dramas to advance
The issue had been brewing all match, with Kyrgios venting his anger at the chair umpire for repeatedly hurrying him whenever he walked back to grab a towel to wipe off sweat.
Bourchier saved two match points in the 12th game of the second set, but he blew his three set points in the tie break.
Kyrgios held his nerve to secure the win in 85 minutes, setting up a third-round clash with world No.25 Borna Coric at the Murray River Open.
“I just like playing by the rules,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview after the match when asked about the time-code violation incident.
“I didn't want to play until I made sure I wasn't going to get fined, because the ATP does me pretty rough all the time, they fine me too much money.”
When asked whether he thought he was in the service action when the time violation was called, Kyrgios was blunt.
“Yeah obviously, that's why I stopped,” he said.
Kyrgios produced his wide array of tricks during the match, including underarm serves and shots between the legs.
He was bothered at times early by his heavily-strapped left leg, but it didn't seem to affect him as the contest wore on.
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