Death. Taxes. Nick Kyrgios getting into a mess. All three are inevitable scenarios and it is difficult to prevent any from happening. The latest installment of the Kyrgios show was on full display at Rome Masters where he got upset with a member from the crowd to lose his head. It resulted in him mouthing off to the crowd, smashing his racket, kicking a water bottle, throwing a chair on to the court and then getting disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. And yet, this may not be the worst of Kyrgios’ temper tantrum.
Wimbledon 2015 – Tanking against Gasquet
The Aussie had quite an eventful Wimbledon in 2015. Against Diego Schwartzman in the first round, microphones picked him as saying “dirty scum”. He apologised later and said it was directed at himself. In the second round, against Juan Monaco, Kyrgios was reported to the chair umpire for mumbling explitives. He then hit back at the chair umpire saying, “Does it feel good to be up there in that chair? Does it feel strong to be up in the chair?” In the next match against Milos Raonic, he was given code of conduct warning for smashing his racket and then got into a verbal duel with a female spectator.
The fourth round loss to Richard Gasquet, however, drew wider criticism for the Aussie. He was accused of “tanking” – deliberately not playing up to his abilities – after he failed to return multiple serves. He was then boo-ed off the court.
August 2015 – Insulting Stan Wawrinka
During a match in Montreal, Kyrgios aimed an insult at Swiss player Stan Wawrinka. At the changeover, Kyrgios, speaking aloud but not directly to Wawrinka, said: “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate”. Microphones also picked up Kyrgios saying under his breath that Wawrinka, 30, is “banging 18-year-olds”.
So disappointing to see a fellow athlete and colleague be so disrespectful in a way I could never even imagine.
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) 13 August 2015
Kyrgios was fined the on site maximum of $10,000 for the offence and a further $2,500 for comments directed at a ball person. He was then given a suspended 28-day ban and $25,000 fine for the vulgar comments by the ATP,.
French Open 2016 – Yelling at ball boy
Kyrgios was warned for shouting at a ball boy at the French Open. In the match against Marco Cecchinato, Kyrgios shouted “towel” to the ball boy, umpire Carlos Ramos deemed his tone to be overly aggressive, handing out a warning to which the Australian reacted in heated fashion.
“I thought it was a little bit rough. Obviously it was just his personal opinion on how he thought that I went about it, but, I mean, it is what it is.”
“I think, you know, every time I get a towel from a ball kid I say thank you.”
“Sometimes when you’re a bit frustrated you do, you know, not scream at them but you do get a little mad at them. I didn’t get mad at all. I just said it a little bit loud.”
October 2016 – Tanking
In the second round of Shanghai Masters against Mischa Zverev, Kyrgios was found guilty of not putting his complete effort and subsequently punished. He was fined $32,900 on top of earlier fines of #13,127 for lack of effort, $6,563 for verbal abuse of a spectator and $1,969 for unsportsmanlike conduct. He was also banned for eight weeks for ‘lack of best efforts’. At one stage in the match, he asked the umpire, “Can you call time so I can finsh this match and go home?”
“The suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist…” the ATP said in a statement.
When asked during the press conference if he thought he owed the fans a better effort, he responded: “What does that even mean? I’m good at hitting a tennis ball at the net. Big deal. I don’t owe them anything. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave.”
March 2017 – altercation with Dudi Sela
Kyrgios got into an exchange with Israeli spectators during his first round win over Dudi Sela. Besides apparent swearing at Sela fans, he also had an argument with the Israeli player following the match.
“It wasn’t like we were talking [during] the points or when Kyrgios was serving,” one of the spectators told Fairfax Media. “It was only cheering in between the points. We were maybe three meters away from him. If we whispered, he could hear us.”
— Alex Theodoridis (@AlexTheodorid1s) 1 March 2017
Lol man up https://t.co/4Ei5xUzHNs
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) 2 March 2017
According to Fairfax, Kyrgios mockingly waved at the fans following his win, and when Sela objected to his behaviour they got into an argument. An official had to intervene.
October 2017 – Unsportsmanlike conduct
Further drama unfolded at the 2017 Shanghai Masters with Kyrgios retiring midway during the first round match against Steve Johnson. He didn’t show any apparent health or injury reasons for pulling out. During the first set tie-break, he had received a point penalty from umpire, and had responded by saying that he would quit the match if he went on to lose the breaker. He was fined $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and stripped of $21,085 prize money.
June 2018 – Water bottle sex act
During the Queen’s Championship in London, a precursor to Wimbledon, Kyrgios was fined 15,000 Euros by ATP after making suggestive gestures with a water bottle during the semi-final against Marin Cilic.
BC cameras were focusing on Kyrgios as he sat on his chair at change of ends and picked up on the inexplicable bit of juvenile bejaviour. He finished with a spray of water before grinning at someone in his players box. The British broadcaster was then forced into issuring an apology to its viewers.
“Let’s get that water bottle thing clear — It was bad and I shouldn’t have done it with kids watching so make sure you put it in the article,” Kyrgios said.
Seriously Kyrgios ?! 💦 pic.twitter.com/V8fJD14pJC
— poetcurious (@poetcurious) 23 June 2018
“My girlfriend (Ajla Tomljanovic) will kill me if I don’t apologise and it was unacceptable “But Denis Shapovalov gets fined $5k for hitting an umpire in the eye and sending him to hospital. I get fined $15k for playing with a water bottle.”
October 2018 – row with umpire
Shanghai and Kyrgios have an unsavoury history and that continued for a third year running. The 23-year-old had a prolonged argument with French umpire Damien Dumusois during his first-round exit. Dumusois told Kyrgios a point in the second set was “really borderline,” appearing to suggest a lack of effort.
Kyrgios reacted by saying “I don’t care” and told Dumusois “you have no right to tell me that it’s poor”.
He later sarcastically asked Dumusois “was that borderline?” after serving an ace.
May 2019 – throwing chair on court
Kyrgios admitted “emotions got the better of me” after being disqualified in his second-round match with Casper Ruud at the Italian Open in Rome. In the third set, Kyrgios was given a game penalty for swearing at a fan.
He then kicked a bottle, threw down his racquet, hurled a chair on the court, picked up his bag and walked off.
NSFW: Nick Kyrgios absolutely loses it at the Italian Open 😳
— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) 16 May 2019
Kyrgios was then fined 20,000 Euros for unsportsmanlike conduct and also lost his prize money. In addition to the prize money, he forfeited the 45 ranking points gained during the tournament and was told to cover the costs of his hospitality.
The hot-headed behaviour came barely hours after release of a podcast where he was deeply honest and had a pop at Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.