Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios is in hot water again after appearing to tank his match against Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.
The controversial young Australian’s performance in his second-round clash will certainly be remembered – but for all the wrong reasons.
Kyrgios patted the ball over the net several times instead of hitting a normal serve during a 6-3 6-1 defeat to his German opponent.
On several occasions, he started walking back to his chair before a serve or while his opponent was still playing.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 12, 2016
“Nick, you can’t play like that. It’s just not professional. This is a professional tournament,” the chair umpire admonished him.
He also argued with fans in the stands, receiving a code violation for swearing, but didn’t seem to care.
He later asked the umpire: “Can you call time so I can finish this match and go home?”
What is Nick Kyrgios doing.. pic.twitter.com/UAdmcmpkwU
— BETDAQ (@BETDAQ) October 12, 2016
It was an extraordinarily petulant and ill-tempered display, even by Kyrgios’ standards, and not even the boos of the crowd seemed to affect him.
“You wanna come here and play?” he asked a fan. “Sit down and shut up and watch. [You have] zero career.”
After the match, Kyrgios admitted he “tapped out a little bit” against Zverev, and tried to defend some of his actions, saying of his clashes with the crowd:
“I feel like if they knew what they were talking about they’d be on the tennis court and being successful,” he said.
“I can’t really understand it at all. They don’t know what I’m going through.
“If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave. If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?”
He then said he “couldn’t care less” if he doesn’t qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.
He appeared to calm down a bit afterwards, tweeting:
Not good enough today on many levels, I'm better than that. I can go on about excuses but there are none. Sorry #StillAWorkInProgress ????
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) October 12, 2016
The latest incident comes just a day after Kyrgios claimed he was “bored” during his first-round victory over Sam Querrey, and a few days after he won the Japan Open.
Kyrgios was fined $1,500 for a foul-mouthed outburst at this very tournament in Shanghai last year.