Controversial Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has taken a swipe at Lleyton Hewitt in a since-deleted Instagram post less than 24 hours after saying there was “not really” a rift between them.
After crashing out of the Australian Open in the first round against Canadian player Milos Raonic in straight sets, Kyrgios added to the drama that has engulfed the tournament since Monday night when Bernard Tomic launched an attack on Hewitt.
The 23-year-old, who is known for his ‘bad boy’ behaviour, took a photo of a TV broadcast of Alex de Minaur’s second-round match at the Australian Open, which showed Hewitt conducting media duties in the stands on Margaret Court Arena, accompanied by the question “Who’s [sic] match is he watching?” and the alternative answers: “Demon” and “No one else”.
The match was taking place at the same time as another Australian, John Millman, was playing Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round, while Matt Ebden was facing off against Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios’ post was quickly deleted but he also went on to slam Hewitt’s former coach Roger Rasheed on social media, saying he should be “ashamed”.
The post comes 24 hours after Kyrgios was asked a question at an Australian Open media conference about whether there was a rift between him and Hewitt.
“Not really,” Kyrgios said on Tuesday night.
Kyrgios also answered “sure” when questioned whether he supported Hewitt as captain going forward.
It came after Tomic sensationally declared both Thanasi Kokkinakis and Kyrgios recently told him that they do not want to play Davis Cup while Hewitt remains captain.
“I think it’s ridiculous, to be honest,” Kyrgios said, in response about the media attention surrounding Tomic’s criticism of Hewitt.
“With all the issues that are going on in the world, we’re focusing on someone’s comments about Davis Cup. It’s pretty sad. It’s pretty sad.”
It comes after Kyrgios claimed in December he’ll hang up the racket for 2019 if he takes out the top spot in the upcoming tournament.
The tennis star, who is regarded as a ‘tantrum thrower’ due to his on-camera antics, told media ahead of the Brisbane International, that he is “sick of travelling” and needs some time to recuperate.
“If I was going to win the Aus Open or something I probably wouldn’t play for the rest of the year,” he admitted to a reporter when asked about his busy schedule for the year ahead.
“I play enough tennis during the year, I’m sick of it by the time I get home. The last thing I want to do is go out there and hit more balls.”