Controversial tennis ace Nick Kyrgios is once again in the headlines after the Australian was disqualified from the Italian Open on Thursday for launching a chair onto the court and storming off during his match with Casper Ruud.
The 24-year-old, who has emerged as one of the game’s more volatile characters this season, reacted badly to being handed a game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the final set of his last-32 showdown with Norway’s Ruud, kicking the ground in frustration, slamming his racket down before throwing his wooden chair into the middle of the court.
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“I’m done, I’m f***ing done,” he exclaimed, before retrieving his belongings and walking from the court. Kyrgios was losing the final set, with the scores tied at one set a piece.
His antics on the court in recent months have generated huge fan interest in Kyrgios, though some fans appear to suggest that his volatility runs the risk of outshining his abilities on the court.
This latest incident comes just two days after Kyrgios used some unorthodox techniques in his win against Daniil Medvedev in the opening round, employing an array of drop-shots, lobs and even an audacious between-the-legs shot.
At one point, Kyrgios turned his back on a Medvedev serve and positioned himself on the court as if he was about to be hit with the ball. The cumulative effect of these tactics caused Medvedev to lose his cool and smash his own racket on the court.
Kyrgios also drew the ire of officials when he was handed a warning for firing a ball outside of the arena in protest at a call made by the chair umpire.
He then once again appeared in the headlines for comments he made to a podcast in which he described world number one Novak Djokovic as having “a sick obsession with wanting to be liked.”
“He just wants to be Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This celebration thing is so cringe worthy,” Kyrgios said to the No Challenges Remaining podcast.
“[But] we’re talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open one year because it was too hot. No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest to me,” he added.