Nick Kyrgios blew up at a courtside trainer after suffering a hand injury in the first service game of his grudge match with Stan Wawrinka at the Mexican Open.
On the day following his unforgettable comeback win over Rafael Nadal, Kyrgios was back in action against Wawrinka with a spot in the semi-finals on the line in Acapulco.
The Aussie claimed the tense match 7-5 6-7 6-4, but it didn’t come without bumps and bruises.
There was early drama when Kyrgios had to call for a trainer after he suffered a bizarre fall on the plexi-cushion surface.
Kyrgios lost his footing as he swung for a backhand and ended up falling forward onto his racquet hand, which was wrapped around the handle.
The contact opened up a nasty cut on the back of his hand and forced Kyrgios to seek treatment with the scores at 40-40 in his opening service game.
He was booed by the Mexican crowd as he walked to the chair umpire — after he was earlier jeered by the crowd as he walked out onto the court.
Kyrgios appeared to take issue with the treatment he received from the court-side official, who appeared to attempt to cover the scraped skin with a form of gel or cream.
“It’s f***ing insane,” Kyrgios was heard saying on the ESPN broadcast.
“What is wrong with these f***ing people.
“There’s blood all over my hand, bro. What do you want me to do?
“It’s insanity, bro. You want me to play like this?”
He eventually returned to the court and managed to hold his serve without any further issues as the first set remained on serve at 5-5.
Just as he did against Nadal, Kyrgios seized his moments to secure the match’s first break of serve at 6-5 — a break that gave him the first set 7-5 after 51 minutes.
He continued to put Wawrinka under pressure as the second set remained on serve at 2-2. The Aussie then fired up and served an explosive game to take it to 6-5, shouting “let’s go” to Wawrinka, prompting jeers from the crowd.
The umpire appeared to take exception to Kyrgios’ aggression and pulled him up at the change of ends. It was always going to end well.
“Don’t ever say that to me again, that is bulls***,” Kyrgios bellowed. “I had Rafa yesterday slowing me down before serve, (Wawrinka) is pumping up the crowd. Don’t talk to me like that, I’m pumping up the crowd.”
It got tense as the pair entered the tiebreak, which Wawrinka won to send the match to a thrilling third set. The ugly scenes resurfaced in the third as Kyrgios traded colourful words with a mouthy spectator before breaking the Swiss star to 3-2.
Wawrinka was fuming at Kyrgios as the 23-year-old was attended to by medical staff for the third time at 5-4. The former Australian Open champ jabbed at Kyrgios as he had his knee strapped before the Canberra product served out the match 6-4.
“I actually play better when the crowd’s against me … I love it, it gets me going,” Kyrgios said after the match, immediately before revealing he listens to Opera to calm him down before a match.
Earlier, Rafael Nadal accused Kyrgios of lacking respect “for the public, the opponent and himself” after a stormy defeat to the Australian firebrand.
Kyrgios survived three match points to beat top-seeded Nadal 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (8/6) to reach the quarter-finals.
However, 17-time major winner Nadal was furious with Kyrgios who at one stage complained of being sick, served underarm late in the match before cupping his ear to the boos of the crowd at the conclusion of the second round tie.
“He is a player with huge talent and could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for the number one ranking,” said Nadal.
“But he lacks respect for the public, the opponent and for himself.”
Kyrgios, ranked No. 72 in the world, hit back at Nadal.
“I’m different, Rafa’s different. He can focus on what he needs to do. He doesn’t know the journey I have been on, he doesn’t know anything about me,” said Kyrgios who famously stunned Nadal as a teenager at Wimbledon in 2014.
“I am not going to listen at all. That’s the way I play. The way he plays is very slow between points.
“I’ve got my game, he’s got his game. People are different, that’s the sport.”
— with AFP