He proved a champion at the Mexican Open last week when he won his fifth ATP title but controversial Aussie tennis player has been spectacularly defeated by Philip Kohlschreiber at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
Kyrgios lost 6-4 6-4 to the German tennis player, but had defeated him two years earlier in the first round of the 2017 French Open. During the latest match, Kyrgios struggled and even slipped over several times during the clash. Letting the frustration get to him at one point, the 23-year-old smashed his racquet in front of a packed arena.
Later in the match, he was spotted throwing his shoes into the audience during the break between sets. By this point, he’d already put another pair of shoes on his feet.
“Hope they come with shoe deodorant,” Tennis TV tweeted, along with a GIF of the player throwing his shoes into the crowd.
Viewers on Twitter were quick to call out the star for his behaviour.
One person wrote: “He needs to learn respect.”
Another concerned viewer said: “Hope he didn’t break anyone’s teeth.”
A third message added: “Such a tool! Time to grow up!”
Kyrgios’ latest spat comes after he managed to beat Rafael Nadal, John Isner and Alexander Zverev last week – all of which are among the top 10 players in the world. He also defeated Stan Wawrinka to take the title of the tournament. Still, his behaviour during that tournament also came under fire from Nadal.
“He is a player who has a huge talent could be winning Grand Slams or fight the first position in the ranking and something is where it is,” Nadal told media following his loss. “He lacks respect for the public, the rival and himself.”
“Es un jugador que tiene un talento descomunal podría estar ganando Grand Slams o pelear la primera posición en el ranking y por algo está donde está. Le falta respeto para el público, el rival y hacia sí mismo”… Rafa Nadal sobre Kyrgios @adrenalina pic.twitter.com/ZC1ysaLT2e
— Josefa Gout (@JosefaGout) February 28, 2019
Kyrgios wasted no time responding to Nadal in his own press conference.
“Raf is different, he can focus on what he needs to do,” he told reporters. “He doesn’t know the journey I’ve been through, he doesn’t know anything about me, so I’m not going to listen at all.”
During that match, the Aussie player told the crowd to shut up at one point, resulting in a code violation. His use of a quick underarm serve while Nadal was standing behind the baseline also drew criticism – despite the player not breaking any rules.
He has previously been accused of tanking matches, insulting other players and has been quoted as saying he doesn’t love the game. He has also faced other fines for inappropriate behaviour.