Nick Kyrgios was back to his usual self ahead of the Australian Open as the hot-headed world No 47 lost his cool following a warm-up defeat. The Au
Nick Kyrgios was back to his usual self ahead of the Australian Open as the hot-headed world No 47 lost his cool following a warm-up defeat. The Aussie’s preparations for next week’s tournament were thrown into disarray when his recurring knee problem flared up once again.
He was beaten in straight sets by Croatia’s Borna Coric in a 6-3, 6-4 defeat.
And while the result will have no implications on the main tournament next week, it’s clear Kyrgios is feeling the heat after suffering an injury setback.
In truth, it was his explosive serve that was keeping his hopes alive in the game as Coric moved him around the court.
It wasn’t long before he eventually cracked, receiving a warning for an expletive-laden rant but the words of the umpire appeared to antagonise Kyrgios.
JUST IN: Australian Open draw confirmed as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic learn routes to final
He smashed his racquet against the floor before walking back over to it and launching it into the empty stands.
The discomfort caused by Kyrgios’ knee was evident from the early stages of the match.
It wasn’t long before he called over his trainer to take a look, in a bid to ease the swelling and pain.
Even though there was still much to admire about his serving, the 25-year-old conceded that his knee was restricting his power.
“I can’t serve without pain,” he said. “I’ll probably just play one more game. I’m serving at like 170 (km/h) instead of 220.”
The real action begins next week when Kyrgios is set to face Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal.
He is currently on course to meet last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem in the third-round, permitting they both reach the last 32.
Kyrgios has repeatedly defended his country and Tennis Australia following criticism from fellow players over quarantine regulations.
The controversial character hit back at Novak Djokovic after the Serbian’s letter in which he urged the authorities to ease lockdown restrictions upon arrival Down Under last month.
“There’s too much risk in all of this,” Kyrgios has since added. “I don’t understand what’s so hard for tennis players to understand. Like you’re just a tennis player.”
Former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt believes Kyrgios is one player for the big guns to avoid, permitting he can keep a lid on his temper.
“Nick just needs to get his body going, get the rust out of him,” Hewitt said.
“He has so many weapons, he is going to be awfully dangerous.
“If he can pull up well, he is definitely a dangerous floater none of the big names will want to play heading into week two.”