Crowd turns on Kyrgios after ‘meltdown’
Nick Kyrgios' week in Washington has delivered non-stop entertainment and on Sunday it was dialled all the way up in an enthralling three set 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 victory over top seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.
A blistering opening set from the mercurial Aussie had fans salivating over his otherworldly talents, but in the space of 20 minutes it all went pear-shaped.
Against Tsitsipas, who he had played doubles with earlier in the week, Kyrgios was on fire in the early going.
But after grabbing an early break from his Greek opponent in the second set and leading 2-0, the wheels began to fall off.
Noise from the crowd drew the ire of Kyrgios and he unleashed a verbal tirade, forcing the commentators to apologise for the language being picked up by the on court microphones.
"Why should I try. If you're not going to respect me, why should I try for you? It's very simple," he said in the direction of the crowd.
Frustrations continued to boil over as he headed back to his seat as he smashed his racquet into the court, copping a point violation for the outburst.
Kyrgios' racquet is about to need a trip to the panel beater #ATPTour— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) August 4, 2019
As he walked back out to the service line the words continued from Kyrgios, this time in the direction of his own box.
"Why should I try for these people," he asked.
"They're idiots. It doesn't make sense why I would try?
"I don't want to complain, but that's how I feel. You're heckling me before I serve."
Kyrgios continued to have words with his box and the crowd throughout the remainder of the set as Tsitsipas levelled proceedings by claiming the second set 6-3.
Meltdown is a good word to use right now when it comes to Kyrgios.— Jill Martin (@ByJillMartin) August 4, 2019
Thankfully the Aussie seemed to collect his thoughts and settle down as the deciding set got underway and he began to wrestle back the momentum.
After asking the crowd where he should serve in his previous game, Kyrgios went back into his bag of tricks and asked the audience for their advice. It worked once again as he held serve to take the opening game of the set.
The match was delayed early in the third set after Tsitsipas once again endured a problem with his shoe laces, the same problems that have plagued his feet throughout the tournament.
Tsitsipas dug into his bag but couldn't find the spare shoes he needed and it was Kyrgios who turned delivery man as the shoes were thrown down from his coaching box.
Only games later however the issue struck again as the laces on Tsitsipas' left shoe broke and his coaching box was called to action.
His dad once again handed over a new shoe before the cameras captured him taking off his own laces and handing them over for the broken shoe.
As Kyrgios stood and waited for the match to get underway he was heard shouting "Adidas sucks" by the on court microphones.
Tsitsipas forced the third set into a tiebreak, but it was Kyrgios who flexed his muscles in the early going to burst out to the 5-1 advantage.
But like it was in the second set the momentum flipped in an instant and Kyrgios found himself down 5-6.
He held his nerve with two monster serves and after a blistering rally, the Aussie served out the contest, after once again asking the crowd for advice, and moves into the final where he'll take on the winner of Daniil Medvedev and Peter Gojowczyk.
Nick Kyrgios beats Stef Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) to reach his 2nd final of 2019. Fun experience. pic.twitter.com/A5zadBsUrB— José Morgado (@josemorgado) August 4, 2019
Kyrgios entered the semi-final contest with a rather peculiar pre-game preparation to what most fellow pros would do.
Instead of stretching out and getting loose on the practice courts, Kyrgios was spotted playing table tennis against kids.
He did the unusual warm up ahead of his match against Norbert Gombos and he was back at the table before his game against Tsitsipas.
He has played with the kids for almost an hour, and he was at least as enthusiastic as them!!! JUST BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/xAfMA3Dsl8— Jean-Christophe FAUREL (@FaurelJC) August 3, 2019
Here at the tennis. Kyrgios was up a set and a break and now is clearly tanking the second set. The crowd is booing. There’s been a point penalty. We call the The Full Kyrgios Experience.— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) August 4, 2019
Jim Courier: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone self-sabotage more than Nick Kyrgios.”— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) August 4, 2019