'What a joke': Tennis fans rage at 'ridiculous' Nick Kyrgios farce

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·5-min read
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A tournament official, pictured here speaking to Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon.
A tournament official speaks to Nick Kyrgios during his match against Ugo Humbert at Wimbledon. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

The crowd rained down boos on Centre Court on Tuesday night when Nick Kyrgios' epic Wimbledon battle with Ugo Humbert was suspended in the fifth set.

Kyrgios and Humbert were locked at 3-all in the decider when officials called time on day two of the Championships, five minutes before the traditional 11pm curfew.

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A locally-agreed neighbourhood curfew of 11pm meant the match on Court One will have to be completed on Wednesday.

Kyrgios was level with Humbert at 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 3-3 when play was halted, leaving those in attendance fuming after they'd stuck around to watch the match in its entirety.

Fans loudly booed as the tournament supervisor came out onto the court to tell the players they had to leave.

A vocal advocate of the tour going ahead during the coronavirus pandemic, Kyrgios is playing his first tournament outside of Australia in 18 months.

The mercurial Aussie showed few signs of rust in winning the first set in sublime fashion.

But he threatened to lose the plot after falling two sets to one behind, moaning about the apparent slower court speed.

"Guys, for you watching at home, it should be fast in here. It should be fast, That's grasscourt tennis," Kyrgios muttered.

"They've made it slow. This isn't grass anymore. This is slow. Slow.

"Try watering it. Make it a grass court again, thanks."

Fans were left fuming over the suspension of Kyrgios' match, with some labelling the curfew rule "ridiculous" and a "joke".

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Aussie outsiders shine at Wimbledon

Earlier, qualifier Marc Polmans and wildcard Alex Bolt kick-started Australia's men's challenge, both powering to first-round victories to bring a bit of cheer at the end of another rain-soaked day at the All England Club.

Chris O'Connell's bid to join his compatriots in the second round was put on hold again as a slippery court forced his five-set thriller with French star Gael Monfils to be called off for the night on Tuesday.

Polmans had hoped that he would draw Roger Federer in Wimbledon's opening round - but the Victorian will be happy with his consolation prize as he triumphed in his first-ever match at the All England Club.

If you can't draw a 20-time grand slam champion on your SW19 debut, the next best thing is surely to have a match that you're really fancied to win - and the 24-year-old got lucky in playing Lu Yen-hsun, a Taiwanese player ranked No.625 in the world.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here during his match against Ugo Humbert at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios reacts during his match against Ugo Humbert at Wimbledon. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Melbourne's Polmans, who's ranked 154 and looked much the superior of the pair, triumphed 6-2 7-5 4-6 6-1 in two and a half hours to book his place in the second round of a slam for the third time.

In slippery conditions and the gloom gathering by the time he got on court several hours later than he'd expected, the South African-born player rated his triumph as the best of his career.

"I'm super-pumped to get through and with my first-ever win in main draw at Wimbledon," he said.

"It was extremely tough conditions, late at night and it was starting to get all dark and slippery.

"When he fought back to take the third set, I thought we'd be in for another long one so I'm grateful I was able to close it out in the fourth."

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Bolt continued an exciting few weeks after his triumph in a pre-Wimbledon Challenger event at Nottingham earned him a wildcard.

He cashed in with a surprise 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 win over the experienced Serbian world No.44 Filip Krajinovic, who's ranked 105 places higher than the Australian.

with agencies

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