Nick Kyrgios accused officials of “rigging” his first-round match at the Fever-Tree Championships and admonished himself for “playing FIFA until 3am”.
The outspoken Australian, renowned for his on-court outbursts and meltdowns, launched an expletive-ridden rant at umpire Fergus Murphy after missing a set point against Roberto Carballes Baena, claiming the Spaniard had double-faulted.
He said: “Bro you are taking the f****** p*** mate? The ball was this far out, no joke. No joke. What are you doing? It’s so far long. What are you doing?
“Like, what are you actually doing up there? It was this far out. Bro, it’s taking the p***. I refuse to play.”
After Murphy issued a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, Kyrgios continued his tirade.
“It couldn’t have been further out. What are you doing? Jesus. Was that not out, the second serve? It’s a joke, man. It’s a serious joke,” he said. “Like, your hat looks ridiculous, also. It’s not even sunny.”
After another point, Kyrgios added: “The ball was this far out on the second serve. I’m going. I’m not going to give 100 per cent when I’ve got linesmen rigging the game, I don’t want to play.
“You wonder why I don’t try half the time. Literally the set had finished, he double-faulted. Why am I playing at 5-5? Absolute joke.”
Having won the first set on a tie-break, Kyrgios was closing in on the match when he hit a poor lob to gift Carballes Baena a point.
“So lazy, do something, so lazy you are,” he muttered to himself. “You were playing FIFA until 3am, what do you expect?”
In the final game Kyrgios, 40-0 down, petulantly began returning from just outside the service line and somehow wrapped up the match 7-6 (4) 6-3.
As if that were not enough, Kyrgios faced a second match due to rain delays earlier in the week, and was beaten in three sets by Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.
It was a tame affair by comparison, although Kyrgios still managed to collect a code violation after smacking a ball right out of Queen’s Club.
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Andy Murray steps back onto a tennis court on Wednesday just 142 days after undergoing a hip operation in a bid to salvage his career.
The two-time Wimbledon champion and former world number one tearfully announced at January’s Australian Open that it may have to be his last tournament, such was the pain his chronic injury was giving him.
Instead, on January 28, Murray went under the knife and had a metal plate inserted into the joint.
The surgery has left him pain free, and on Wednesday he is due back in competitive action alongside Feliciano Lopez in the men’s doubles at Queen’s Club.
No player has competed in top-level singles after undergoing the hip resurfacing operation, but American Bob Bryan has returned to the doubles circuit.
However, Murray is not reinventing himself as a doubles player. Queen’s, followed by Eastbourne and Wimbledon, are about testing his body, putting miles on the clock and regaining some match sharpness with a view to resuming his singles career before the end of the year.
“My goal is still to get back to playing singles, ultimately,” said the 32-year-old Scot.
“Maybe six to eight weeks ago I was chatting with my team about the best way to get back onto the court again, singles-wise.
“We felt doubles would be a good option to test myself out and see how I feel, where there is maybe a bit obviously less loading on the body, less movement, but you still have to make some quick moves and have quick reactions.
“It felt like it was actually a nice progression of the rehab I’ve been doing and getting back onto the court and see how I feel on a match court playing doubles.
“Then that will give me some information about where I’m at and maybe things I need to improve or whatever.”
Murray and Lopez face Colombian top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships.
Rafael Nadal kept his iron grip on the Coupe des Mousquetaires by beating Dominic Thiem in four sets to win a 12th French Open title.
It was a repeat of last year’s final and, although Thiem managed to win a set this time, he was unable to join Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic as the only men to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, going down 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1.
Nadal now stands on his own as the most successful singles player, male or female, at a single grand slam having moved clear of the 11 titles won by Margaret Court at the Australian Open.
His 18th slam title overall, meanwhile, means for the first time he has closed to within two of his great rival Roger Federer, whose all-time men’s record of 20 titles appears increasingly within reach for either Nadal or Djokovic.
Thiem was trying to do what only Stan Wawrinka has managed by beating Djokovic and Nadal at the same slam, and Wawrinka did not do it back-to-back.
As if he did not have the odds against him enough already, the Austrian was also playing for the fourth day in a row after his epic two-day semi-final win over Djokovic, while Nadal had had a day off either side of a comfortable semi-final win over Roger Federer.
Thiem knows how it feels to beat Nadal on clay, having done so in each of the last four seasons, but only in best-of-three-set matches.
The first seven games were a physical war, both men growling and pummelling the ball back across the net with ever increasing vigour.
Thiem struck first with a break for 3-2, being rewarded for his aggressive play, but Nadal hit straight back and the crunch moment of the set came when he held after an epic seventh game.
Thiem threw everything in his armoury at Nadal, fizzing in backhands and covering every inch of Philippe Chatrier’s clay, but it was not enough.
It was no surprise to see Thiem fail to hold his serve in the next game, and Nadal served out the set to put himself in a position from where he had never lost a match at Roland Garros.
It could have been deflating for his opponent, but Thiem put some extra oomph on his serve, closed in on the baseline and got the easy points he so desperately needed.
Nadal was holding even more comfortably on his serve, dropping just one point in the first five games of the second set.
Thiem read the situation brilliantly, keeping Nadal deep and making him do the work, and he got his reward with a break to take the set.
Just winning a set against Nadal here is a significant achievement, but the job was nowhere near done for Thiem and the mountain he still had to climb quickly became clear.
A poor opening game of the third set from Thiem set the tone, and in no time the 25-year-old was 4-0 down having won just a single point.
He at least got on the board, but it appeared the Austrian had given everything he had and his movement became increasingly laboured.
He roused himself again at the start of the third set but was unable to take break point opportunities in either the first or third games and found himself 3-0 down.
He did superbly to recover from 0-40 to hold serve in the next game, but that turned out to be a last stand as Nadal wrapped up victory after three hours and one minute.
The 33-year-old fell flat on the clay as Thiem’s final shot landed just beyond the baseline, the king of Roland Garros once more.
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