Nick Kyrgios’ ‘routine implosion’ and abuse at his box during his US Open win on Thursday was so bad an Aussie tennis legend has implored the members of his support team to ‘walk out’ if his abuse continues.
Kyrgios beat Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the third round in what can only be described as a rollercoaster encounter.
The animated Aussie complained marijuana smoke was coming from the crowd, received a code violation for abusing his own supporters and was warned for ‘disgustingly’ spitting on the court – yet still managed to play breathtaking tennis at times.
Kyrgios’ habit of taking out his frustrations on his own supporter box earned the ire of Aussie tennis legend Todd Woodridge, who said it’s obviously not their fault when he begins to unravel on-court.
Nick Kyrgios unleashes yet another tirade at his supporter box during his US Open win over Benjamin Bonzi
The abuse led Aussie tennis legend and Channel 9 commentator Todd Woodbridge to tell Kyrgios’ supporters to ‘walk out’ if the temper tantrums continue
‘At some point the people who are sitting in his players box need to take some action,’ Woodbridge said on the Channel 9 broadcast.
‘That action should probably be standing up and walking out. They’ve got nothing to do with what goes on on the court. That is up to Nick.’
Woodbridge’s reaction led to one fan writing: ‘Time to once again play America’s favorite game, “How much of their self-respect are the people in Nick Kyrgios’ box willing to give away?”‘ on social media.
After winning the first two sets with relative ease, Kyrgios began to unravel, losing the third set to a determined Bonzi.
Nick Kyrgios vents his frustration during his second round US Open win
He swore at his support team several times, shaking his head and gesticulating wildly as he implored them to make more noise and be vocal with their support.
‘Good job, 4-3 in the third, you’re just chilling, doing nothing … I’m two metres away from you,’ Kyrgios yelled toward his box as Bonzi began to get on top.
Woodbridge was not impressed, pointing out that his backers can’t make up for Kyrgios’ decision not to have a coach.
‘Why does he (Kyrgios) want his player’s box to tell him what to do when he’s coach-less? I mean, goodness me,’ he said.
‘The amount of energy he expends unnecessarily, it wears him out. He is so much better when he doesn’t do that … he’s angry with himself.’
Kyrgios’ famed temper was out of control once again at Flushing Meadow as he launched into his courtside backers and was warned for spitting
Not surprisingly, Kyrgios’ antics towards his box, which earned him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, weren’t even the most noteworthy incident during the game.
Bizarrely, he complained to the chair umpire that he could smell marijuana coming from the crowd, something US commentators said they’d ‘never heard of before’.
‘It was f***ing marijuana. It was smoke. Obviously I’m not going to complain about food,’ Kyrgios could be heard saying over the on-court microphone.
‘When athletes are running side to side and they have asthma, it’s probably not ideal.’
Some fans pointed out his pent-up aggression and frustration suggested he could benefit from smoking weed himself.
After the match, perhaps spurred on by the bizarre marijuana claim, Kyrgios then took a huge swipe at New York – despite the ‘Big Apple’ being regarded as one of the great cities of the world.
‘It’s very different to the way we live Down Under [in Australia]. It’s a crazy place, I don’t know how anyone can live here,’ he said in an interview on-court after his win.
Nick Kyrgios and girlfriend Costeen Hatzi doing some sightseeing at New York’s Empire State building prior to his round two clash at the US Open – though he says he doesn’t know ‘how anyone can live’ in the Big Apple
His decision to spray the court with spit and abuse his own support team earned the ire of fans and pundits, with many condemning his ‘disgusting’ behaviour, despite managing to nab the win.
‘There’s an awful lot I like about Nick Kyrgios, but spitting is f***ing disgusting’ wrote one fan.
Another wrote: ‘I haven’t heard so many collective “f-bombs” in awhile’, while one said it is ‘time for Nick Kyrgios to grow up’.
A prominent tennis pundit said Kyrgios’ antics during his win over Benjamin Bonzi were just a ‘routine implosion’ for the Aussie
Kyrgios insisted during the post-match press conference, however, he was the consummate professional.
‘Every day I come in, I watch what I eat, I try and get sleep …every practice session I try and have good intent,’ said Kyrgios, who can often be seen canoodling and playing around with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi during training.
‘I almost don’t know who I am anymore, to be honest, because that’s not me. I’m trying to balance so many different things out (there) … it’s just a lot.
‘I feel like I’m really professional right now,’ said Kyrgios, in a comment that will no doubt raise a few eyebrows around the tennis world.
Nick Kyrgios enjoys spending some time with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi during a training session at Wimbledon in July
Apart from the ‘routine’ Kyrgios antics, the tennis itself was high-quality and thoroughly entertaining.
Despite looking like he was about to completely unravel and lose the match despite winning the first two sets, the Aussie rallied; and paid his opponent a few compliments after the match.
‘I was literally hanging by a thread. His (opponent Benjamin Bonzi) level today was incredible. I was not expecting an absolute war,’ Kyrgios said of his stoic opponent in an on-court interview after the match.
‘It could have gone either way early in the fourth but I got there. I played some really risky tennis late in that fourth set to win.
‘I’m just really happy to get through. It’s been really stressful time I have high expectations to go deep this week,’ said Kyrgios.
Nick Kyrgios (left) celebrates his second round US Open win over Benjamin Bonzi (right)
The four-set win over Bonzi means the animated Aussie has now booked his spot in the third round.
He will take on US wildcard, cult hero JJ Wolf, who incredibly smashed the 16th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets during their first round clash.
With the weight of a home crowd at his back, a fired-up Wolf will provide stiff opposition for the Aussie.