Kyrgios vs Referee: Was this temper tantrum forgiveable? 170



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The one piece of feedback that the Australian Open always manages to be marred with is that of poor sportsmanship, and it seems this year Kyrgios is the one to hold this debate open… again.  Our young star fell in the fourth set of the third round of the tournament last night, but it is the comments afterwards and the environment during the match that has everyone talking.  Is it just passion for his sport and disappointment in his-self coming out?  Or do you feel disappointed in his behaviour last night?

In the closing remarks to the Umpire, Keothavong, when shaking hands Kyrgios was reported as saying to him “you’re a terrible referee”.  He later spoke about his behaviour in the post-match press conference and expanded on his displeasure at how the match was managed pointing to audience interruption as a large source of his distraction.

“I just told him what I thought,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t think he controlled the match well. He let a guy throw a ball back into play, which for me is pretty unprofessional. As I said previously, you know, music playing during points. First time I’ve ever seen it happen.”

When the ball was thrown back into play, Kyrgios hurled his racket at the ground.  Then, later in the match got worked up about music he could hear coming from the crowd which he found distracting.

Krygios questioned the umpire throughout the game.
“It was just strange. He was telling me he couldn’t hear it,” Kyrgios said.
“I don’t know, I just thought he might have used the microphone to say, ‘Could you quiet it down.’ I don’t know. I’ve never had it happen to me before … he didn’t tell the crowd to quieten down if it was coming from the crowd, which I think is a fair thing to do if you’re in the chair.”
The source of the music remains unknown but many concluded later that it was possibly music coming from the Big Bash Cricket across the street.
I don’t know where it came from,” Kyrgios said.
“The ref was telling me he couldn’t hear it. I could blatantly hear it. So unless tennis, you can start playing tennis when there’s music in the background, that’s a new rule. They need to add it to the rule book.”

It was clear in the press conference that Kyrgios was hoping to step into Lleyton Hewitt’s now vacant shoes as Australia’s male tennis icon but was left heartbroken for his efforts.
“I’m so disappointed, like I put so much work in, and I just feel like I let a lot of people down,” he said.  “I don’t know. I was expecting a bit more out of myself. I don’t know. I was expecting like another real deep run. I put a lot of work in. It’s pretty heartbreaking …”
Kyrgios, who was clearly anxious in the first two sets and firmed up in the third perhaps just wanted to win in front of his home crowd and take on the second week of the Australian Open with vigour.  Maybe he just wanted it too much.
“I maybe walked out there too serious. Maybe walked out there trying to focus too much on what I had to do. I probably should just go out there and try to enjoy myself, have fun, not take it so seriously, probably like the third set.”

Do you think it is a justification for his behaviour?  Were you watching?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Temper tantrums and bad sportsmanship should NEVER be tolerated in Australian sport! What a great example to young sports men and women. Disgraceful.

    1 REPLY
    • I’m sick of people making excuses for these players. We used to have such a great reputation for being good sports but now look at us! It is unacceptable and I wish the governing bodies would do something about it. Regardless of how much money is at stake this should not excuse these disgusting displays.

  2. It’s about time he gets treatment for his behaviour. It will take the public, like myself to like him.🤐👎

  3. It is so unjust radian Wake up young man You could have a great future ahead pull your head in and learn from the greats of the game

  4. Just ban him for 12 months and don’t give him any media time. The jerk seems to love any media about him. His brother is no better and his folks seem happy with his dummy spits. Ban and ignore 👍

  5. Leave the kid alone, starts at 60 hang your head in shame for once again for bringing up this subject, if he had won he would be everybody’s glory boy. Tennis isn’t excluded from bad sportsmanship.

    14 REPLY
    • hes a 20 year old young man with the expectations of a nation on his back, some can hack it some can’t, some have control, Federer etc, some don’t, Connors, Hewitt in his day. The more the Australian people go on about this the more it will probably happen, respect needs to go both ways

      1 REPLY
      • Jan Gulliver – I wrote in when everyone was bagging Bernard Tomic, but wasn’t printed. I have now read about 6 pages of comments abusing Nick Kyrgios – because they say he is abusive! Name calling, the lot, no insult to the lad neglected! Usually people who write in to this forum, Starts at SIX, are fighting each other, but twice in a week they have united to pick on youth. If they want a good example set, then they should set it!! You are not standing alone here….this kid is 20 years old, works all the hours God sends and will one day do Australia proud. I wish people would remember their own youth and mistakes, and let these young men learn by theirs.

    • But he didn’t…..when it comes to abusing an umpire I think it has gone to far. I understand that he is wound up because he wants to win but abusing an umpire that is wrong and that is a bad example for kids to see. I know that umpires can get it wrong but they have a job and that should never be ridiculed in public. He is very different but he is not winning any fans by acting like that. He has to be taught he put noise in particular out of his mind no matter how hard it is. It amuses me how noise is an issue with tennis players anyway. He needs to take a long hard look at Dasha and how she plays, she is really a great example for young kids to follow. Have no problem with a player being passionate but aggressive and abusive there is no place for that.

    • If he can’t cope with the pressure maybe he should give the game away. Abusing the umpire is unacceptable,next it will be the birds are tweeting too loud or turn down the sun it is too bright. I don’t care how old he is,there is no excuse for bad manners and bad sportsmanship. He embarrasses himself. The other players must think he is a fool.

    • I felt the umpire was being patronising towards Nick and must bear some of the blame for the interactions between himself and Nick, this conversation was pretty mild in comparison to other players over the years

    • Here’s another Jan agreeing with you. I remember Leyton when he was young. For quite awhile he was labelled a brat and now he has retired with overwhelming appreciation and respect. I have no doubt the current young “brats” will improve their behaviour with maturity.

    • I agree with Jan, leave him alone he will grow up eventually like a lot of other bad boys in tennis have.

    • Jan Dooley phew thanks Jan, people have short memories, not sure what it is about Nick that has caused so many people to feel such hatred, because at times the comments border on this.

    • Jan Gulliver your attitude is not helping. It’s not about winning or losing it’s about how you play the game and you seem to have missed this point totally. Sad.

  6. Its about time he blames himself for losing and not everything else and everyone else. This is why i dont watch tennis anymore. Australia has the worst of the spioled brats.

    1 REPLY
    • He did actually blame himself & admitted he didn’t play well if anyone cared to listen to post match interview.
      The players don’t ask to be interviewed after matches, it’s part of the deal & they get fined if they don’t attend these interviews

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