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Friday, May 27, 2022

Tantrum in Indian Wells: always problems with Kyrgios

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The television did not show this launch, this time the camera was diverted at that moment and towards Rafael Nadal, who entered the middle of the square and was celebrated for his hard-fought victory. He had defeated Nick Kyrgios 7: 6 (0), 5: 7, 6: 4, this quarter-final success at the Masters tournament in Indian Wells is now the 19th in a row for him this year. Kyrgios had also respectfully congratulated the Spaniard on the net, but now that the spectators were applauding loudly, he was busy with another task. Kyrgios had to take his anger out on him.

And so the men’s tennis tour now has to deal with the next incident, just as Alexander Zverev’s monster in Acapulco has been digested. At the end of February, after losing a double, the German repeatedly attacked the referee’s chair, on which the referee was still sitting, with his racket. It was live television back then. Zverev has since received a heavy fine and is on probation for a year; otherwise, he faces an eight-week suspension.

As is the case today, it didn’t take long for a short video stream to surface on Twitter after the Kyrgios match, showing Kyrgios erupting from a bird’s eye view. With all the strength of him, the 26-year-old threw his racket to the hard court surface, the frame immediately flying forward uncontrollably due to a springboard effect and hissing in the direction of the ball boy who was standing on the line. background. He could, and was lucky at the time, just dodge it. Otherwise, he would have been hit by the crushed bat. In this case, the ATP, which organizes and is responsible for the professional tour, should certainly have thought of a different sanction than the amount of the fine that will probably follow.

“He was definitely not like Zverev,” says Kyrgios.

Kyrgios himself downplayed his action and later said at the press conference that he was “human, things like that happen.” It was not his intention to endanger the child, the bat “unhappily jumped”. In addition, Kyrgios claimed that the boy was three meters away and on the occasion he verbally assaulted the reporter, saying: “Do you come with this question after a three-hour battle against Nadal?” To the objection that the ball boy squatted down, Kyrgios responded in his own way: “he squatted, squatted, squatted”, he said it a total of five times. “Jesus, he’s fine,” he added cynically, emphasizing: “He was definitely not like Zverev.” At least he was right about that.

Tennis: A familiar image: Nick Kyrgios and a racket with a broken frame.

A familiar image: Nick Kyrgios and a racket with a broken frame.

(Photo: Antoine Couvercelle/PanoramiC/Imago)

If you look at the latest incidents benevolently, it can be said that, in general, it was a typical appearance of Kyrgios. Jokingly, he had shown by stages that he can defeat any player in the world. His tennis can be spectacular, as he showed for long stretches in the first set and also in the second set. The 13th in the world ranking was Kyrgios in 2016, but his whims and character prevented further success. And he had also been accompanied by depressive phases, from which he knew how to come out fighting. He recently revealed this.

After Kyrgios apparently realized his racket toss wasn’t such a harmless act, he called Instagram to ask if anyone could get him the boy’s cell phone number. He got them, texted her, apologized and promised to buy her a new racket. Kyrgios also knows how to deal with youth, it is not for nothing that he attracts many young spectators to the stadiums. And it’s bound to be an attraction in a Netflix series the streaming service provider is making this season. It can be safely assumed that he will be one of the main characters effectively presented as advertising.

A camera crew had already followed him regularly at the Australian Open in January, and his girlfriend was sitting in the stands at Indian Wells and was visibly hooked up to a microphone. The fact that Kyrgios exchanged a few words with American actor Ben Stiller, who was sitting in the front row behind the baseline, was of course also great entertainment for the audience. He certainly dominates the show.

Referee Carlos Bernardes rebukes Kyrgios and everyone listens

To what extent there is calculation behind his tirades or if he just has this short-tempered nature that relies on a seemingly low tolerance for frustration, Kyrgios himself has yet to reveal explicitly. However, the fact remains that his performances are often a tightrope walk: he inspires people with his talent and charms them, but then alienates viewers just as quickly.

It almost seemed as if he wanted to prove in Indian Wells that he is still the real bad boy in tennis and that he would not leave this dubious reputation to Zverev without a fight. In 2019 he had already been suspended for 16 weeks when he committed a series of missteps and the tour could not avoid sanctioning him. At that time, he even threw a chair into the square.

So far, the fines and sanction have failed to tempt Kyrgios to criticize his behavior less often. But chair umpire Carlos Bernardes showed in an unusual way that he, too, can be shown the limits of tolerance. It was 0:6 from Kyrgios’ point of view in the first set tiebreak when Kyrgios verbally assaulted a fan and received a penalty point (because he had previously received a booking) and thus lost the tie-break with 0: 7. Bernardes then spoke into the microphone, addressing Kyrgios: “Ten thousand people want to watch tennis here and you’re the only one screaming like crazy.” Kyrgios was very quiet and didn’t know what to say anymore.


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