Nick Kyrgios dragged Hollywood star Ben Stiller into an ugly meltdown as he unravelled in his quarter-final clash with Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells on Thursday.
Kyrgios pushed the 21-time grand slam champion to three sets in a high-quality clash, but the Aussie lost his way on a number of occasions.
'SO IT BEGINS': Nadal's brutal response to cheeky Kyrgios act
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The Aussie star was constantly irked by noise in the crowd and took exception to something a fan said in the final set.
The spectator was sitting near Stiller in the front row at one end of the court, so Kyrgios thought he'd use the Dodgeball star to make a point.
The heckler replied “no” when Kyrgios asked him “are you good at tennis?”, before Kyrgios dragged Hollywood royalty Stiller into the beef.
“Exactly, so don’t tell me how to play. Do I tell him how to act?” Kyrgios said, pointing at Stiller.
“Shut the f*** up."
Stiller, who was taking in the action alongside wife Christine Taylor, saw the funny side of the exchange.
Just when you think you've seen everything in a Kyrgios match.
He was just talking shit to Ben Stiller, who's in the first row courtside 😅
"Do I tell you how to act?"
— Sam Phillips (@samphillips06) March 18, 2022
Ok that was pretty funny... Kyrgios getting after a fan for presumably giving some commentary, tells them to be quiet, "Why are you speaking?" Then points to Ben Stiller in the crowd and says, "Do I tell him how to act? No."#IndianWells
— Melanie Dinjaski (@MelanieDinjaski) March 18, 2022
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) March 18, 2022
Nick Kyrgios vs Ben Stiller is not a match I thought I'd ever see. 😂
— Scott Barclay (@BarclayCard18) March 18, 2022
Nadal. Kyrgios. Ben Stiller. What a match. pic.twitter.com/SgaIu094og
— Azharizal Fajar (@jarjirjor) March 18, 2022
Nick Kyrgios comes up short against Rafa Nadal
Nadal overcame Kyrgios in a drama-filled and tightly fought quarter-final, extending his perfect start to 2022 to 19-0.
The 21-time major winner prevailed 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4 in the California desert, keeping his cool during a typically turbulent encounter with the Australian.
Kyrgios battled not only the Spaniard but his own temperament, the crowd and umpire Carlos Bernardes during the two hour and 45 minute marathon.
Kyrgios dropped his serve in the seventh game of the third set, allowing Nadal to grab the decisive break and seal the victory.
The Aussie made a mockery of his lowly ranking early, breaking Nadal first and lengthening his run to 30 straight service holds at the tournament.
But the 26-year-old fumed as he missed his chance to serve out the first set, smashing two racquets - handing the second to a child in the crowd.
After forcing a tiebreak, he lost it to love, gifting Nadal the set with a code violation that resulted in a point penalty.
Kyrgios snapped back at an abusive crowd member as he waited for quiet on his serve, yelling "shut the f*** up."
Kyrgios then barked at Bernardes: "Why would you do that? Unbelievable".
The Aussie was the left seething after double-faulting to hand Nadal the third-set break.
"How many f***ing times are you going to let them do that?" Kyrgios asked about the crowd noise.
Nadal's victory was his 19th in succession this year, a run which has brought ATP titles in Melbourne and Acapulco and a record-breaking 21st slam at the Australian Open.
He can jump up to World No.3 with a fourth title at Indian Wells.
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