Nick Kyrgios continued to play with fire during his comeback tournament at the Murray River Open. The Australian received a warning for an audible obscenity before he crashed out 6-3, 6-4 to Borina Coric on Friday.
With play resuming in front of empty stands on Friday – Thursday’s scheduled was cancelled because of a virus scare – a frustrated Kyrgios spiraled out of control. He was having trouble dealing with a knee injury and complained to the trainer.
“It’s f***ing sore. I can’t land on my leg,” Kyrgios said. “I can’t serve without pain … when I land it feels unstable. I’ll probably just play one more game. I’m serving at like 170 (km/h) instead of 220.”
Kyrgios, who played with a compression bandage on his left knee, didn’t seem to be putting too much effort on Coric’s service game.
After losing his serve to go down 4-5 in the second, Kyrgios smashed his racquet and hurled it into empty stands. He was given a point penalty as he had been already warned for an audible obscenity earlier in the game.
It brought an end to Kyrgios’ fiery and entertaining return to tour. The 25-year-old, playing his first tournament in 12 months, had berated the umpire during his opening round win against Alexandre Mueller.
Kyrgios, seeded 13th at the tournament, had gotten into another tussle with officials during his eventful 6-2, 7-6 win over fellow Australian Harry Bourchier in the second round. The Australian had refused to play on after receiving a time violation as he took too long between serves.
Kyrgios had be to assured by the supervisor that he would not be fined for his latest outburst before he stepped back on court.
It remains to be seen how severe his knee injury is and if it will affect his Australian Open campaign. He is scheduled to play qualifier Frederico Silva in the opening round of the Melbourne major.