Calls for Nick Kyrgios to be banned after 'disgraceful' meltdown

Calls are growing from the tennis world for Nick Kyrgios to be banned after his latest angry outburst in Miami. Pic: Getty
Calls are growing from the tennis world for Nick Kyrgios to be banned after his latest angry outburst in Miami. Pic: Getty

Tennis fans are clearly fed up with the antics of Nick Kyrgios, with calls mounting for the Aussie to be banned after his latest angry outburst at the Miami Open.

The Aussie star angrily berated the chair umpire and received a game penalty after a number of code violations in a straight-sets loss to Jannik Sinner on Tuesday.

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Kyrgios unravelled after being hit with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct by chair umpire Carlos Bernardes at the end of the first set, in the round of 16 match.

The 26-year-old angrily confronted the official, before arguing that his outburst was directed at someone in the crowd and not at the umpire.

Kyrgios then smashed his racquet a number of times by the side of the court, earning another code violation and game penalty, meaning he started the second set 1-0 down.

It is the latest ugly incident involving the Aussie, who was perhaps lucky not to escape heavier sanction after almost hitting a ball boy with a racquet he threw during the Indian Wells tournament earlier in the month.

The Aussie was slapped with a $25,000 fine for that indiscretion, as well as for yelling an obscenity during his loss to Rafael Nadal in California.

Kyrgios could find himself facing further punishment for the angry outburst in Miami, with tennis fans calling on the ATP Tour to crack down hard on the serial offender by issuing him with a ban from tennis.

Seen here, Nick Kyrgios explodes in an angry outburst at the Miami Open.
Nick Kyrgios lost the plot in ugly scenes at the Miami Open. Image: Tennis TV

“Kyrgios has been given plenty of chances through the years and been cut plenty of slack by the tour,” American writer Christopher Clarey tweeted.

“He is not a kid anymore. His misbehaviour on court is a clear pattern of behaviour. ATP is right to crack down.”

Journalist James Gray commented: “Cannot believe Nick Kyrgios has not been disqualified more in his career.

"Tennis doesn't have the kind of official abuse problem football has but it’s still damaging for the grassroots game for elite players to act like this.”

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Nick Kyrgios unravels at the Miami Open

His latest exit exhibited all the hallmarks of Kyrgios once again feeling the world was against him, as he moaned from the start about the state of the court, about the "worst" US crowd and about Brazilian umpire Bernardes being unable to control proceedings.

The sadness, as so often, was that his behaviour spoiled some thrilling tennis with the 20-year-old Sinner working wonders to blank out the noise surrounding Kyrgios and to play a consummate match.

Perhaps the Italian's composure as clearly the better player on the day only irritated Kyrgios further as he launched a familiar war with the crowd, muttering at one changeover: "The crowd's the worst, everyone's just the worst."

It was, to be fair to Kyrgios, a bit of a circus, with one spectator making his way onto the court to try to get a selfie, but he only succeeded in adding fuel to the fire.

Being outplayed in the opening set tiebreaker, Kyrgios turned his attack to Bernardes, telling him: "You have absolutely no idea how to control this crowd, pretty sad..."

When Kyrgios started talking further about him, Bernardes gave him his second code violation, which meant a point penalty for the Australian and put him set point down.

At the end of the set which the Australian conceded with a double fault, Kyrgios screamed wildly at the umpire, asking how it could have been unsportsmanlike conduct as he was talking only to a friend in the crowd.

To which Bernardes, by now understandably growing more irritated, said: "You were talking about me."

Kyrgios responded by asking to speak to a tournament official before he smashed his racquet several times against his bag and on to the hardcourt —

with Bernardes this time issuing a game penalty against him.

It was a decisive moment as Kyrgios was to serve in that opening game of the second stanza.

It marked a dispiriting end to the Australian men's singles challenge in Miami.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, who'd had such an excellent tournament, went out 6-4 6-4 to second-seeded Alexander Zverev while suffering what appeared to be an injury to his right shoulder.

Despite their singles' ills, hours later Kyrgios and Kokkinakis teamed up to steamroll their way into the doubles semi-finals by dispatching third-seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 7-5 6-2.

The Special K's - the Australian Open doubles champions - are now 9-1 in 2022.

with agencies

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