Nick Kyrgios spits towards umpire in 'disgusting' Cincinnati Masters meltdown

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Nick Kyrgios is staring down the barrel of a suspension after calling an umpire a “f***ing tool” and spitting in his direction at the Cincinnati Masters.

Kyrgios lost the plot after winning the first set against Karen Khachanov on Wednesday, capitulating to crash out 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 2-6 in extraordinary scenes.

After producing a remarkable comeback to win the first set from 2-5 down, Kyrgios imploded after a fiery battle with chair umpire Fergus Murphy.

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It all unravelled when Murphy hit Kyrgios with a time violation for taking too long between serves during the second set.

Nick Kyrgios spat in the direction of the umpire. Image: ESPN

The Aussie said: “That’s hilarious, if Rafa plays that quick I’m retiring from tennis. Absolute rubbish … disgrace.

“Get me some footage of Rafa playing that quick, that game. If you can find any of that I’ll shut my mouth and never speak again.

He conceded a point penalty after calling Murphy the “worst f***ing referee ever”, before walking off court and smashing two racquets in the tunnel after pretending to take a toilet break.

However he saved the worst for last, spitting in Murphy’s direction and refusing to shake his hand at the end of the match.

“We haven’t heard the end of this and from what he did at the end was quite frankly, truly disgusting and a big fine for Kyrgios,” one TV commentator said, before calling it a “setback for tennis”.

The rest of the tennis world was equally as shocked, with many calling for the ATP to suspend Kyrgios.

Either way, the temperamental star may face significant fines for smashing two racquets in the vicinity of the court, verbally abusing Murphy, and not actually using the bathroom after requesting a toilet break.

Kyrgios, who won his sixth career ATP singles crown two weeks ago in Washington, also complained last week in Toronto in an apparent dispute as to why he could not have a white towel during a match.

The World No.27, rarely far from controversy, was defaulted three months ago after throwing a chair as he quit a match in Rome.

Khachanov will play Frenchman Lucas Pouille in Thursday's third round.

Nick Kyrgios in action at the Cincinnati Masters. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

De Minaur takes down 7-foot giant

Earlier, Alex de Minaur glided into the third round with a straight-sets win over home hope Reilly Opelka.

The world No.38 Australian beat the American wildcard 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in one hour and 34 minutes to make the third round of an ATP Masters tournament for the second time.

De Minaur will face Yoshihito Nishioka in the round of 16 after the Japanese stunned compatriot and close friend Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

Nishikori was not the only favourite to bow out on Wednesday, with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev joining him in the exit lounge.

with agencies