Nick Kyrgios has blown a gasket again, bowing out of a third successive US tournament in ugly meltdown mode.
The maverick Australian got fined a total of $US 60,000 ($A80,000) after losing in Indian Wells and Miami and could face more after getting knocked out of the US men’s clay court championship semi-final in Houston while spouting obscenities and rowing with the umpire.
Kyrgios ended up losing his cool in Saturday’s big match and got docked a point for a second audible obscenity which cost him a crucial game near the end of a tight second set en route to a 6-3 7-5 loss to giant American Reilly Opelka.
Watch the latest Sport on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
Kyrgios may have had some justification for his rants after the umpire Joshua Brace admitted he’d made a mistake with a call at 5-5 in the second set of the match.
But after the key point, which left the score at 30-30, Kyrgios completely lost the plot, losing the next point with a distracted error and, after earning his second warning for more on-court swearing, getting docked the point which cost him the game at break point down.
He was lucky not to earn another, potentially game and match-losing penalty as he continued to scream out loud “F***!” as he walked back to his seat for the changeover, as you can see in the video below.
There, he continued to harangue the official, muttering: “F***** out! How are you not calling it? It’s an absolute joke.”
During the exchange, the clearly flustered Brace admitted: “I believe it now, I made a mistake.”
It wasn’t the first debate the pair had had over the incident, which happened when Opelka’s return at 30-15 had appeared to go over the baseline but wasn’t called out as Kyrgios went on to lose the point.
“If it is out, then I did miss it,” said the umpire, leaving Kyrgios to tell him sarcastically: “Well, congratulations…”
The sadness once again was that Kyrgios, who’s otherwise had a fine US swing beyond these racquet-chucking and umpire-berating sideshows, had been battling superbly on his least favourite clay surface to get back into the match against the huge-serving, 211cm-tall Opelka.
Kyrgios, trying to reach his first ATP final since Washington in 2019, had earlier appeared quite out of sorts , muttering loudly to himself at one changeover: “F***** energy is useless this morning! Useless!”
Opelka had dropped only four points behind his massive serve in the opening set and when Kyrgios got broken again midway through the second, there seemed no way back.
Typically, though, the Australian maverick found some of his best form to break back and he looked to have go the upper hand until the meltdown.
Opelka, remaining perfectly calm amid all the nonsense, stepped up at 6-5, served three aces and sealed the win in 69 minutes, earning a place in the final against either fellow US giant John Isner or Chile’s Cristian Garin.
When it was all over, Kyrgios still couldn’t let it go. “Do you feel bad?” he asked Brace. “I don’t think you feel bad.”
The Aussie later took to Twitter to shed further light on his recent umpire issues.
“Haha again… falls all on me. Umpires seem to make these mistakes a little too often. A lot of players seemed dissatisfied with the performance of them this week in Houston,” Kyrgios wrote.
“More punishment? Potentially new umpires? Semi final, ‘I missed it nick’ on clay 5-5 in the second set.”