Nick Kyrgios apologises for ‘unacceptable’ tirade aimed at his friends in his player’s box – and vows he won’t meltdown in showdown against arch rival Rafael Nadal
- Nick Kyrgios beat Gilles Simon to reach the third round of the Australian Open
- The controversial Aussie had a meltdown during their third set of the match
- He later apologised in an interview and admitted he was ‘a bit of a d***head’
Hot headed tennis ace Nick Kyrgios has apologised for launching an ‘unacceptable’ tirade during his nail-biting second-round match at the Australian Open.
The Australian, 24, berated his own supporters in the player’s box as he took on French veteran Gilles Simon.
As he waited for the fourth set to begin, he ranted at his friends after they told him to ‘stay tough’.
He later admitted he was ‘being a d***head’.
Kyrgios (pictured) was solid in the first two sets before a meltdown mid way through the third
Berating those in the player’s box, in front of the crowd, he said: ‘Absolutely flying colours. So creative. So creative. So creative. Out of all the things you could say: “stay tough”.
‘Thanks, man. Thanks. That’s what I get on every break point. Wow. Wow. Wow. “Stay tough,” yep. That’s good, that’s good. Sh*t. Sh*t.’
Speaking to reporters after his win, he said he had apologised to his friends.
‘I was being a bit of a d***head to them. I apologised as soon as I went back into the locker room,’ he said.
‘They don’t deserve that. They do a lot of things for me on and off the court.
Kyrgios (pictured) unleashed on his coaches box – seemingly unhappy with their words of support
‘No, it’s not acceptable from me. Nothing to do with them.’
He will play either Karen Khachanov or young Swede Mikael Ymer in the third-round match, and explained he plans to improve his behaviour during the game.
‘Dude, I’m in the third round. Like, I’m not looking forward at all to any of that sort of stuff. So many things I want to do,’ he said.
‘I’m not even thinking about winning the Grand Slam at the moment. I just want to day by day get better on and off the court.
‘My behavior towards my box tonight was not acceptable, one. In my next match, I don’t want to do that.
‘I’m not thinking about winning the Grand Slam. Like, that’s not essential for me at this moment in time.’
Nick Kyrgios (pictured) beat his opponent Gilles Simon during his second round match at the Australian Open
If he wins, he is likely to take on his old rival Rafael Nadal in the fourth-round.
The Australian 23rd seed dominated the first two sets against Frenchman Simon, with a jovial Kyrgios putting on a show for the Melbourne Arena crowd.
Kyrgios praised Simon’s winners and even gave his opponent a point after an incorrect call from the chair umpire.
But when the Australian lost the third set, he unleashed on his coaches box – seemingly unhappy with their words of support.
Channel Nine commentator and tennis great John McEnroe feared the worst.
‘This is all too familiar… meltdown,’ he said.
‘This had all the makings of a rout and now we’re about to go to a fourth set. He must be a magician in his spare time, this guy, Simon.’
Kyrgios took the first set in just 27 minutes, before speeding through the second and going up a service break in the third, earning deserved praise from commentators.
‘This may be the best match he’s played in here,’ Jim Courier said.
At 4-2 up in the third, Courier left the commentary box to meet Kyrgios on court for his post match interview, thinking the match would be over soon.
But then the wheels fell off for Kyrgios, missing shots he had been cruising through in the first two sets, while Simon rallied to win four straight games to take the third set 6-4.