Nick Kyrgios has been slammed for his on-court tantrums at the Miami Open, but a tennis legend has come to his defense.
Another successful doubles campaign for Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis came to an end on Friday when they lost in the semi-finals of the Miami Open.
After progressing to the final four following two wins and a walkover, the Special Ks fell in straight sets (6-4 6-3) to John Isner and Hubert Hurkacz.
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The Aussie pair, who triumphed to win their first grand slam at the Australian Open in January, enjoyed another solid run in Miami but were eliminated once again by Isner.
The towering American and Jack Sock knocked the Special Ks out of Indian Wells in the round of 16 and this time, Isner combined with Hurkacz to send Kyrgios and Kokkinakis packing.
The result came after Kyrgios was fined $ AUD47,000 by the ATP following his stormy row with umpire Carlos Bernardes in Miami.
Kyrgios was seething with the Brazilian during his last-16 defeat to Italy’s Jannik Sinner, calling the match official “horrendous” and “embarrassing” during multiple tirades during the match.
The ATP charged the fiery 26-year-old with two counts of unsportsmanlike conduct for a total of $ 13,000, a verbal abuse charge of $ 27,000 and an audible obscenity violation of $ 7000.
He was incensed with Bernardes’ performance and although the Australian was initially upset about the difference in conditions between the main court and Grandstand at the sprawling Hard Rock Stadium, he became enraged with the umpire when his walkie-talkie went off mid-point in the first set.
But Kyrgios has received some support from 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick, who had several tantrums throughout his career and recently demonstrated the best way to smash a racquet without putting anyone in danger.
While the American tennis legend believes Kyrgios could have handled his confrontation with Bernardes better, he added the Aussie was within his rights to be disgruntled at being docked a point.
“I actually didn’t disagree with Nick on why he got the point penalty in the tie-breaker,” Roddick told the Tennis Channel.
“Him saying, ‘This referee is bad and someone else could do better’, I feel he has a valid point there that Carlos, who I like, might have got his feelings hurt.
“That doesn’t seem like unsportsmanlike conduct. It seems like ego was in play maybe there.
“But then it’s not the reason you’re upset, it’s how you react to it.
“Breaking your racquet right in his face when you know the umpire’s already ticking quickly, he wants to give you a warning, he’s motivated, he’s personally offended.
“And so your problem solving is to smash a racket to give him a break, go down a set and a break. That’s the part where you lose me a little bit.
“You don’t want to hear the opinions but then you do something like that where it’s kind of impossible to lay off and say, that was absolutely not the right thing to do if you wanted to win this tennis match.”
Kyrgios, who was hit with a $ 33,000 penalty for racket abuse and audible obscenity at Indian Wells earlier this month in a match also officiated by Bernardes, stressed at the start of his Miami Open campaign that he was at “peace” with himself on and off the court.