ANOTHER day at Wimbledon, another embarrassing Nick Kyrgios moment.
The petulant 20 year old Australian was bundled out of Wimbledon in the fourth round in four sets earlier this morning by Frenchman Richard Gasquet, 7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (8-6), amid claims of tanking, following yet another dummy spit at the umpire.
After a torrid tournament at the All England Club, where he fought with umpires and officials alike, Kyrgios appeared to simply give up on a game after having a meltdown following a code violation imposed by umpire James Keothavong, due to – you guessed it – bad language – an ”audible obscenity”.
Up 40-30 in that game, Kyrgios lost it with a game point double fault and then appeared to blame the umpire with a sarcastic thumbs up.
What followed in the third game of the second set was the sort of thing sporting teams do when they want the number one draft pick – Kyrgios gave up.
But there’s no number on draft pick to get in tennis.
Here’s a run down of how it panned out:
> On first serve, Kyrgios didn’t even try to return Gasquet’s serve.
> At 15-0, he just meekly patted the ball into the net.
> At 30-0, he just walked across the court, without paying attention to the ball.
> On game point, he again tapped it into the net, then stormed to his chair and took a seat.
If that wasn’t enough, later, he again drew the wrath of the umpire, this time for taking too long to change his socks.
“I’ve taken one pair off,” Kyrgios apparently barked at Keothavong.
“I’ve got two on and I’m taking one pair off.
“I’m staying on the court.
“If you’re going to get angry with me for that, that’s another level.
“Mate, Rafa (Rafael Nadal) and stuff play 30 seconds in between points every time and all I’m doing is putting my sock back on.”
It’s just another episode in what is fast becoming the Kyrgios car crash, his lack of respect on and off the court and fiery temperament polarising the Aussie supporters, just like Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt before him.
When are we going to get a decent mens tennis player who is actually likeable? Has there been one since Patrick Rafter?
After the match, Kyrgios remained petulant, retorting back at reporters and denying the tanking allegation and attempting to turn the tennis match on the reporters.
“I kept playing. And that’s coming from you?” he snapped at one reporter who dared asked if he gave up on the game.
“Do you want to try to return Richard Gasquet’s serve?
“I’ll give you the racquet and we’ll see how many times you can return his serve.
“He served too good.
“How many aces did he hit that game? One? That game, did he hit one ace? Did he hit one ace?
“Of course I tried.
“If they decide to fine me, they can fine me.”
The fine he refers to is one of the laws of tennis: “A player shall use his best efforts to win a match when competing in a grand slam tournament.”
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation.”
Kyrgios said he was “frustrated” but did not think he was a “bad boy” in the tennis world – a view that is vastly gaining steam.
“I mean, today, there was a lot of ups and downs,” he said.
“Obviously, you know, it was a tough, tough time, especially when he’s not missing any balls.
“I’m getting frustrated myself.
“I feel as if I’m not playing not how I should be playing.
“I’m angry at myself.
“Just because I show emotion out on the court, I’m ‘bad’.
“There’s a lot of things going on at the moment that aren’t focusing on actual tennis.
“There’s just a lot of stuff going on.
“You don’t need to know about them.
“You know, I’m not perfect out there.
“I’m going to have ups and downs.”
While the jury is out on Kyrgios, he has found support from his opponent and a couple of stars.
“He likes the show, of course, everybody can see that,” Gasquet said of the Australian number two.
“But I still think it’s good to have some players like that on the circuit.
“Sometimes people are talking because the players are boring or something.
“Now we have someone who is doing different things.”
Brit Andy Murray said: “I like Nick, he’ll find his way for sure.”
“The most important thing is to try to be yourself,” Murray said.
“I don’t think people always appreciate how difficult it is to grow up under the spotlight.
“He’ll hopefully have good people around him that can help him, people that have experienced being on the tour.
“Guys like Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter.
“I’m sure in the next few years he’ll start to calm down a bit.”
Swiss master Roger Federer passed the tanking of the game off as “tactics”.
“One game to me is part of tactics, as well, sometimes to throw the other guy off,” the Fed Express said.
“You can be frustrated and just not feel like it for a couple of points.”
Let’s hope those stars are right, for the sake of Kyrgios – and Australian tennis.
Moving on to the rest of the Wimbledon action and, with the quarter finals almost upon us, Novak Djokovic is still the favourite at $2.37 with CrownBet.com.au, but Murray is nipping at his heals at $3.
Bad light stopped play in the match between the world number one Djokovic and Kevin Anderson, the latter stunningly winning the first two sets 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6).
But the Serb rallied hard and took the third set, 6-1 and then the fourth 6-4, before bad light stopped play.
They will resume tonight.
Federer is next best at $5 and Australian Open champ Stanislas Wawrinka is a $9 chance. They’re the only players given a chance by the punters, with Gasquet next best at $41.
On the women’s side of the draw, world number one Serena Williams has had a relatively breezy tournament and is the $1.80 favourite to win the title, with Maria Sharapova, at $6.50, and Agnieszka Radwanska, at $9, the only other players in single figures. Victoria Azarenka and Garbine Muguruza are next best at $12 each.
2015 Wimbledon market
Novak Djokovic ($2.37 with Crownbet)
Andy Murray ($3)
Roger Federer ($5)
Stan Wawrinka ($9)
Richard Gasquet (41)
Marin Cilic ($51)
Kevin Anderson ($51)
Gilles Simon ($67)
Vasek Pospisil ($151)
Serena Williams ($1.80 with Crownbet)
Maria Sharapova ($6.50)
Agnieszka Radwanska ($9)
Victoria Azarenka ($12)
Garbine Muguruza ($12)
Timea Bacsinszksy ($15)
Madison Keys ($17)
Coco Vandeweghe ($41)