Just off the back of winning the Japan Open title, it didn’t take long for Nick Kyrgios to make a wrong move and attract negative attention from spectators.
Straight onto the Shanghai Masters, the 21-year-old has been slammed as “pathetic” and “a total disgrace” for tanking, resulting in a shocking early exit from the tournament.
According to a report by Fox Sports, the 12th-seed was obviously not putting any effort into the game against 110th-ranked qualifier, German Mischa Zverev, asking the umpire to call time early “so I can finish this match and go home.”
The lowest point however, was when the Greek Australian lobbed a soft serve midway into the opening set and proceeded to walk off the court before his opponent even had the chance to hit a return.
Along with booing from the crowd, many of which were Australian supporters, the chair umpire, Ali Nili also called Kyrgios out for his behaviour.
“Nick … You can’t play like that, OK? That’s not professional … this is a professional tournament, we have to act professional and play with your best effort the whole time,” he said.
After losing in straight sets to Zverev 6-3 6-1, Kyrgios continued to cause controversy in the post-match conference, where he was asked whether he understood the crowd’s frustration.
“Not at all. I feel like if they knew what they were talking about they’d be on the tennis court and being successful as well.
“They don’t know what I’m going through, so no, I don’t understand it,” he said.
“I don’t owe them anything. It’s my choice. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave.
“If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?
“You want to buy a ticket? Come watch me. You know I’m unpredictable. It’s your choice. I don’t owe you anything. Doesn’t affect how I sleep at night.”
After managing to reach a career-high, Kyrgios was considered an outside chance to qualify for the eight-player ATP World Tour Finals – that was, before tanking. But he doesn’t seem phased.
“I couldn’t care less, to be completely honest with you,” he said.