Australia’s Nick Kyrgios kicked up another storm at Wimbledon after the 20-year-old was involved in a heated exchange with an umpire during his victory over Juan Monaco.
Kyrgios beat Monaco 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 6-4 in the second round yesterday but the world number 29 attracted attention again for a number of angry outbursts on Court 18.
The most controversial occurred at 6-5 in the opening set when a line judge made a complaint to the umpire after Kyrgios had uttered a string of expletives in response to his missed shot.
An altercation followed as Kyrgios was heard asking the umpire: “Is that a threat?” and “Does it feel good to be up there in that chair? Does it make you feel strong?” The outspoken player, who made his name at SW19 with a shock victory over Rafael Nadal last year, was asked to explain the incident in his post-match press conference.
“I don’t know what he said. I was just asking the umpire what the line judge said. I was just curious. I wasn’t causing any drama there,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m aware of what I’m saying. I’m in pain and I’m playing a tennis match at Wimbledon. A bit of stress out there. I guess that’s why he did it.”
Kyrgios added: “I just thought he thought he was top dog in the chair really. He was telling me not to speak to him, all that stuff. It doesn’t really matter, you know.”
Kyrgios also vented his frustration at a group of Australian fans, who are famous for their vocal support and sang songs supporting their compatriot throughout the match.
As the supporters began chanting while Kyrgios quarrelled with the umpire, he turned to them and said: “Now is not a good time” before later telling them to “stop it”.
“I can’t even remember saying that,” Kyrgios said in his press conference.
It is the second controversy in three days for Kyrgios, who escaped punishment on Monday after appearing to shout “dirty scum” towards an umpire during his first round win over Diego Schwartzman.
Kyrgios insisted he was directing the insult at himself, rather than the official.
There was less animosity on Centre Court where defending champion Novak Djokovic cruised to a straight-sets win over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.
Nieminen, who reached the quarter-finals in 2006, is retiring at the end of the season and his final appearance at Wimbledon took just an hour and 32 minutes as Djokovic eased to a 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory.
“It’s his last Wimbledon, I have had a very nice relationship with Jarkko for many years,” said Djokovic, who will play Australia’s Bernard Tomic in round three. He’s one of the nicest guys on the tour that I know on the court and off the court.”
Tomic will provide a tougher test, although the powerful 27th seed has never beaten Djokovic in the pair’s previous four meetings, which included a Wimbledon quarter-final in 2011. Tomic suffered in the heat yesterday as he had to call for medical assistance in the third set of his 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 7-6 (7/5) win over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Ninth seed Marin Cilic was also made to sweat as he squeezed through 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 4-6 7-5 against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis while Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov are also safely through.
Serena Williams admits her quest to complete a calendar year Grand Slam is at the forefront of her mind after advancing into the third round.
Five-time SW19 champion Williams set up a third-round tie against Britain’s Heather Watson after overcoming the gifted but outclassed Timea Babos 6-4 6-1 on Centre Court.
The American number one seed was tested in the opening set by the big-serving world number 93 from Hungary, but by the second she was in full control and emerged an emphatic winner.
Having prevailed at the Australian and French Open already this year, the 33-year-old is determined to add the Wimbledon and US Open crowns to her collection, becoming the first woman to complete the quartet of titles since Steffi Graf in 1988.
“Obviously it’s on my mind and it’s something I want to do, but there’s a reason it’s rarely done,” Williams said.
“I would have to win in a really tough draw here and I would have to win the Open. That’s not really easy.”
Watson despatched Daniel Hantuchova 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round at the All England Club for the second time.
Williams’ elder sister Venus also progressed after Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan was seen off 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in a hard-fought match on Court Two.
Maria Sharapova insisted she was at ease in the hottest conditions on record at Wimbledon after overwhelming Dutch debutant Richel Hogenkamp 6-3 6-1 on Court Two.
The Russian fourth seed and 2004 SW19 champion battered world number 123 Hogenkamp with a display of trademark power, encountering fleeting resistance in the opening set before taking control.
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