Nick Kyrgios has been praised for his response to an incident at Wimbledon that saw the Aussie tennis star leave a ballgirl in tears.
The young lady had to leave the court during Kyrgios’s first round match against Denis Istomin after copping a 217km/h bullet serve in the arm from the Aussie star.
Istomin immediately threw a consoling arm around the youngster as Kyrgios hurried over to apologise to the girl, who was in visible distress.
The concern on Kyrgios’s face was evident as he offered his apology before the ballgirl left the court.
“Originally when I heard the sound, I thought it hit the scoreboard,” Kyrgios said.
“Then I realised it was her arm. It was tough. She started crying. It was tough. She took it like a champ, though. I would have been crying, for sure.”
Great sportsmanship from both Istomin and Kyrgios after a NK serve hit a ball girl in the arm btw..
— Joe (@ProdigyRepV2) July 3, 2018
Kyrgios just hit a ball girl with a huge serve, ballgirl in tears holding her shoulders.
Istomin helps her across and Kyrgios pats her on the back to apologise. #wimbledon
— Rashmi 🍓🌱 (@RashmiK01) July 3, 2018
While the young lady’s discomfort was obvious, Kyrgios admits there was nothing comfortable about his tight first-round over Istomin either.
Clutch in the tiebreakers, Australia’s top title hope needed 42 aces to see the back of the Uzbeki and safely progress to round two with a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 victory.
“Very tough match. I didn’t play anywhere near my best tennis today,” Kyrgios said.
“I served well, but I struggled to find rhythm. That’s what he does so well on the grass court.
“I would prefer to play like a South American guy who’s never played on grass before.”
Unable to make inroads on his opponent’s serve for much of the match, Kyrgios relied on his own biggest weapon to eke out victory and edge towards a possible third-round showdown with resurgent countryman Bernard Tomic.
“On the grass, he’s a nightmare,” Kyrgios said of Australia’s fellow former Wimbledon quarter-finalist.
“He plays very well on the grass. If he puts his mind to it, he can do some damage here, for sure. I saw how he played today. He looks comfortable.”
A lucky loser from qualifying, Tomic was untroubled in taking out Polish world No.122 Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets, 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-2), to tee up a date with 24th seed Kei Nishikori.
Kyrgios next faces Dutchman Robin Haase as he continues his quest to make the second week for the fourth time in five visits to the All England Club.
Frustrated at being unable to conjure more than two break points in Istomin’s first 21 service games, Kyrgios turned on his courtside support after dropping the third set.
“I’d rather have zero box. Zero,” he moaned.
“I’d rather have nothing.”
The 15th seed also engaged in a running battle with a linesman and chair umpire Carlos Ramos after being foot-faulted.
Despite his improving focus, Kyrgios conceded he still found it difficult to control his emotions on court.
“I just have so many thoughts when I’m out there,” the 23-year-old said.
“Like, I get so angry. I just go through so many different patches in a game. I guess it’s so hard for me to find that balance.
“I look like I don’t care one minute, then the next minute I’m playing really well … It’s a tug of war all the time.”