Nick Kyrgios snaps at reporter after ball kid footage emerges
Nick Kyrgios has bristled at a reporter who questioned whether there was any comparison between he and Alexander Zverev after smashing a racquet which nearly ricocheted into a ballkid at Indian Wells.
The Australian lost a compelling three-set showdown against Rafael Nadal on Friday 6-7, 7-5, 4-6, with Kyrgios hurling his racquet into the ground after shaking hands with the umpire.
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It took an awkward bounce and looked headed straight for one of the ballkids, who had to dodge out of the way before resuming their place on court.
Kyrgios had jawed with sections of the crowd for much of the match, losing the first set for a code violation after swearing at a fan.
By the third set he was imploring the umpire to control the crowd, with his frustrations ultimately getting the better of him as Nadal moved to 19 wins without a loss in 2022.
The racquet throw and subsequent controversy overshadowed what was otherwise an impressive showing from both players, with Kyrgios unimpressed by questions about it during his post game press conference.
Asked if he was aware of how close his racquet came to hitting the ball kid, Kyrgios erupted.
Decrying that the question came after a 'three-hour battle with Nadal', Kyrgios angrily replied that the racquet at taken a 'misfortunate bounce'.
That came really close! pic.twitter.com/8Bg4fJYLQG
— Billy Bang (@villievang) March 18, 2022
“What would you like me to say about it? Obviously, was that my intention? No. Because I threw a racquet. Did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally?" Kyrgios said.
"It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I’m human. Things happen like that. Obviously it was a very misfortunate bounce.
"I think if I did that a million times over it wouldn’t have gone that way. And what do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid.
"That’s a question you’re going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal. That’s what you come here with?”
Kyrgios fuming after closely fought loss to Nadal
The 26-year-old wasn't done there though, continuing his frustration after the reporter said they saw the ballkid duck.
An unimprssed Kyrgios continued his tirade.
"He ducked. Jesus. All right. It was an accident. It was most definitely not like Zverev," he said.
"I didn’t hit him, thankfully. It wasn’t my intention. So thankfully the ball kid’s okay. Great question, though. Unbelievable stuff."
Some time after the press conference though, Kyrgios posted to his Instagram story, apologising for the incident and hoping to make contact with the ball kid involved.
"Hey guys, I just wanna apologise to that ball kid at the end of the match!" he wrote.
"It was a complete accident and was frustrated at the end of the match.
"My racket took a crayz bounce and was never my intention.
"If anyone knows who that ball kid is, send me a message and I will send a racket to him, I'm glad he's OK."
The 26-year-old Aussie had a running battle with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes throughout the contest as he pleaded with the official to control the crowd.
The Aussie frequently found himself having to stop in the middle of service games after being put off from fans shouting out in the stands.
On more than one occasion, Kyrgios' frustrations boiled over and he could be heard yelling out "shut the f*** up" in the first set tiebreak when he was 0-6 down.
The Aussie was hit with a code violation for that audible obscenity and because he'd already received one for smashing his racquet, Kyrgios was docked a point.
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