'Absolute joke': Nick Kyrgios rages at 'ridiculous' Wimbledon farce

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·Sports Editor
·4-min read
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Nick Kyrgios, pictured here fuming over the state of the Wimbledon grass.
Nick Kyrgios was not happy with the state of the Wimbledon grass. Image: Getty/Eurosport

Nick Kyrgios was left raging during his second-round win at Wimbledon on Thursday as he once again voiced his frustrations with the state of the grass.

The Aussie star brushed away a spirited and potentially dangerous challenge from Italian Gianluca Mager to win 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-4 and move into the third round.

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It was a victory that came with plenty of laughs and smiles, as well as an obscenity for which Kyrgios was instantly forgiven as he apologised profusely.

However he wasn't particularly happy early in the match when he again hit out at the state of the Wimbledon courts.

Kyrgios took a nasty tumble in his opening-round victory and nearly joined Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino in having to retire hurt.

During the first set against Mager on Thursday he voiced his concerns.

“It’s not even real grass!” he yelled to the crowd.

“I don’t know if you know this, but on grass it’s supposed to slide away.

“Now it just pops up, it’s ridiculous. Make it real grass! Jesus.”

Kyrgios the turned his attention to the chair umpire, saying: “I feel like I’m playing at Roland Garros. It’s an absolute joke.”

Nick Kyrgios finds his form to advance at Wimbledon

The Australian maverick showed he remains one of the game's great entertainers as he breezed into the third round.

With his usual mixture of exuberant shot-making and near constant chatter, the 26-year-old made light work of the Italian and gave the crowd plenty to enjoy.

Kyrgios went through his usual repertoire of berating officials, himself and anyone else in his vicinity but when it came to the serious business on court he was almost faultless.

He saved a set point in the first set tiebreak and then roared in approval as he snatched the opener before taking the game away from his 77th-ranked opponent with some superb serving and delightful groundstrokes.

He fired down his 29th ace to bring up match point, at which stage he wandered to the stands to let an excited fan whisper something in his ear, and then sealed his spot in the next round when Mager hit a forehand long, receiving a rapturous reception from the approving crowd.

Nick Kyrgios and Gianluca Mager, pictured here shaking hands after the clash at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios and Gianluca Mager shake hands after the clash at Wimbledon. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

"I feel like when they come to my matches now, they know how I am. I'm quite lighthearted. Yeah, they know it's a bit of a show. They just want entertainment at the end of the day," he said.

"I have people in the front row literally coaching me, like literally telling me: 'That's all right, good ball, great return, it will work next time, good depth'. I'm like, 'Dude, what is going on out here?'

"It's good. Obviously the fan base is awesome. But I was just, like, I think the people are just excited to see tennis again at the end of the day."

Kyrgios has previously struggled with the attention that his game generates, but now he says he has learnt to cope with everything his critics can throw at him.

"I just feel like I don't put as much pressure on myself anymore. When I was younger, it was hard to deal with all the criticism that the media gave me, that everyone gave me," he said.

"Like, it beat me down to a point of very bad depression. I wasn't even enjoying myself. Like, I wasn't even coming to Wimbledon and enjoying myself. I was not embracing this amazing event. I wasn't embracing having another day.

"Now I just enjoy it when I'm out there. I breathe in the fresh air. Like, I don't take anything for granted."

Next up for Kyrgios will be a clash against Canadian 16th seed Felix Auger Aliassime.

with agencies

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