Hours after his irritable and fiesty exit from the singles bracket of the Miami Open, Nick Kyrgios regained his compsure enough to help he and Thanasi Kokkinakis through to the semi-finals of the men's doubles.
Kyrgios had ample time to get his head back in the game after an extraordinary blow-up at chair umpire Carlos Bernades during the 7-6, 6-3 loss to Jannik Sinner.
The third-seeded duo of Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers were no match for the Australian Open champions, going down 7-5, 6-2 as the Aussie duo turn their full attention to the doubles crown.
It was a remarkable turnaround for Kyrgios, who hours earlier earned two penalty points, berated the crowd and teetered on the edge of disqualification against Sinner.
He seemed to have regained his touch by the second set, landing a high-arcing lob while up 4-2 in the second set which sent him sprinting back to the bench in celebration.
Despite the impressive result in the doubles, setting up a semi-final clash against the winner of Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury or wildcard duo John Isner and Hubart Hurkacz, Kyrgios was evidently still seething about how his singles match had unfolded.
In the hours after the doubles triumph, a still furious Kyrgios took to Twitter to explain the comment he made to a friend in the crowd which earned him a code violation and point penalty - ultimately costing him the first set.
Hours after losing in singles R4, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis qualify for the semifinals in doubles. They keep beating the best doubles teams in the world.
The AusOpen champs are now 9-1 in 2022 pic.twitter.com/BC1DnrbkGw
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 29, 2022
Kyrgios' anger continued after the point penalty, with the 26-year-old then smashing his racquet against his bag and the court, earning a game penalty to begin the second set.
Earlier in the match, Bernades' walkie-talkie had emitted a noise with the first set locked at 4-4, prompting a blow-up from Kyrgios who had already been complaining about the behaviour of the crowd.
Nick Kyrgios blows up at umpire during Miami Open loss
Kyrgios took to Twitter in the hours after both his doubles and singles matches to once again take aim at umpire Bernades.
After the first point penalty, a still aggravated Kyrgios made a comment to someone in the crowd, earning him the game penalty to start the second set.
Amid protests from Kyrgios that he didn't say anything to Bernades, the umpire nevertheless wasn't having it, replying with 'you were talking about me' after having endured some over-the-top criticism from Kyrgios.
In his post on Twitter, Kyrgios reiterated his angry demand that the ATP hires new umpires.
"'You could do the job of the umpire’ - what was said to my best friend that got me ‘unsportsmanlike code violation’ at 5-3 in the first set tie break," he wrote.
"With 100 (sic) of thousands of dollars on the line that was the decision he made because the umpires feelings got hurt. GET NEW PEOPLE.'
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.
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