Furious doubles rival takes aim at 'absolute k**b' Kyrgios
Vanquished doubles player Michael Venus has launched an extraordinary attack on Nick Kyrgios, a day after he and Thanasi Kokkinakis knocked the New Zealander out of the tournament.
It was an acrimonious affair between the Australian duo and Venus and his partner, Germany's Thomas Püetz.
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Kyrgios' high energy and frequent beckoning for more noise from the crowd eventually lead to tension on either side of the net.
Both Kyrgios and Venus complained to the besieged chair umpire that the other was playing games with the ball toss on their respective serves, while in the meantime the rowdy home crowd cheered every error and fault committed by the visiting pair.
Speaking to New Zealand's TVNZ, a furious Venus unleashed on several aspects of the match he was displeased with, first and foremost Kyrgios.
Describing the atmosphere at Kia Arena as 'like a circus', Venus said Kyrgios' efforts to further whip the crowd into a frenzy were the behaviour of 'an absolute knob'.
“You see why he’s never fulfilled his potential and probably never will,” Venus said.
“His maturity level, it’s probably being generous to about a 10-year-old, it’s at about that level.”
Venus went on to say it was 'not on' for Kyrgios and Kokkinakis to encourage the crowd in between serves.
Generally, tennis fans must remain quiet after a faulted first serve, however the packed stadium roared at every fault from Venus and Püetz like it was the Champions League final.
“It felt like a circus out there, and not really a tennis match,” Venus said.
“Between serves, (they were) geeing the crowd up and getting them to cheer at times like that. I don’t think that’s really on.
“You know if it’s on the other foot, old mate (Kyrgios) would have flipped his lid."
Venus was particularly aggrieved by an incident in the second set in which a dead ball smashed into the court by Kyrgios flew into the crowd and hit a young spectator, prompting the Aussie star to delay the game briefly to hand the fan one of his spare racquets.
"It’s amazing, he can smash a ball out that hits a kid and just cause he gives them a racquet afterwards people can say he’s such a good guy," he said.
Kyrgios-Kokkinakis show rolls on at Open
The doubles match was full of the usual drama and frivolity fans have come to expect when Kyrgios is on court.
"Unreal scenes. I'm not finished, I want to win this f***ing thing," Kyrgios told the hysterical crowd after the 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
After appearing to be cruising through to the last-four, the Kyrgios-Kokkinakis combination was broken early in the second set.
The pair were up 0-40 and had the pro-Australian crowd in delirium with an opportunity to break back at 3-5, but they dropped the next five points to concede the set.
Kyrgios went from sprinting around the court revving up the crowd to slamming his racquet and arguing with the umpire just minutes later.
But the unseeded pair regained their composure to ride the wave of support and continue their giant-killing run by claiming the third and deciding set.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will meet third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in the semi-finals as they look to seal an unlikely spot in the doubles decider.
Host broadcaster Nine Network seemed to confirm Kyrgios' claim on Sunday that the "TV ratings (are) up like 45 per cent" for this year's Open because of his extraordinary run through the doubles draw with Kokkinakis.
Nine's main TV channel opted to screen the doubles match instead of Spanish legend Rafael Nadal's quarter-final clash with rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov.
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