'Absolute joke': Uproar over 'disgusting' Australian Open crowd act

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Nick Kyrgios, pictured here being cheered on by fans at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios was cheered on by his entourage and a parochial Aussie crowd. Image: Getty

According to Nick Kyrgios, he probably wouldn’t have won his extraordinary Australian Open match on Wednesday night without the “insane” parochial Aussie crowd at John Cain Arena.

Kyrgios sent those in attendance into absolute raptures as he saved two match points and somehow came back from the dead to beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

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Kyrgios later praised the crowd for their support, however there were many viewers watching at home who weren’t impressed.

Many felt that the crowd crossed the line between cheering for their hometown hero to actively cheering Humbert’s errors.

Spectators could be heard cheering after Humbert served a fault or made an unforced error, behaviour that a number of social media users labelled “disgusting” and “pathetic”.

“The behaviour of the Aussie crowd during this Kyrgios / Humbert match is disgusting,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

“I am appalled. Cheering faults & double faults by the Frenchman, and the like.

“The head Tournament Referee or Director should step in.”

Another wrote: “The Aussie crowd are an absolute joke, it has to be said.”

Nick Kyrgios in awe of frenzied Aussie crowd

Initially unsure exactly how he pulled off the comeback victory, Kyrgios said an “insane” atmosphere helped, as well as the thought of facing the backlash that would have followed a loss.

“I was afraid to come into this room, you know,” he told a press conference after the match.

“(And) go to my Airbnb and just read about it and take it all in, take all the negativity in that I have already taken.

“It's not easy to come back and try and put it all behind.

“I have been through a lot, and I didn't just put my hand in a lucky dip and disappear.”

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here in the second round of the Australian Open.
John Cain Arena was only half-full for Nick Kyrgios' match, but those in attendance made their prescence felt. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Kyrgios said he was “in awe” of the thunderous crowd at John Cain Arena.

“The stadium definitely didn’t feel half full, that's for sure.”

For his part, Kyrgios said he did get the sense that something special could unravel when he broke back in the fourth set.

“There was a moment ... I was, like, ‘dude, this could be one of the most memorable matches of your career and you owe it to yourself',” he said.

Kyrgios next faces 2020 finalist and 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.”

with AAP

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