An injured Nick Kyrgios did it tough in his round of 16 clash against Croatian Borna Coric, bowing out in straight sets.
An injured Nick Kyrgios did it tough in his round of 16 clash against Croatian Borna Coric, bowing out in straight sets but not without some patented theatrics.
The Aussie laboured through what seemed to be a significant knee injury, dropping the first set 6-3 and looking to score solely off his serve.
“I can’t serve without pain … when I land it feels unstable,” Kyrgios was be heard telling the trainer after the first set.
“I’ll probably just play one more game. I’m serving at like 170 (km/h) instead of 220.”
Although it was a grim sight, there’s never a completely dull moment when it comes to the flamboyant star, who grumbled his way around the court and gesticulated to himself for the remainder of the match.
The theatrics seemed to wake him up in the second when he led the Croatian at four games to three.
“Apologies to those that caught Kyrgios over the courtside mic,” commentator Drew Lilley said.
“Kyrgios is complaining to Melbourne about the weather now.”
It was short-lived however, with the Aussie handed a warning for an expletive-laden tirade after losing a crucial point late in the second set.
That was shortly followed by a spectacular racquet smash, with Kyrgios launching the smashed heap into the empty stands of 1573 Arena en route to straight-sets defeat.
“I was going through some pain during last year and I’ve always had kind of knee issues, especially with my left knee. It was something pretty serious and I’d rather not talk about it,” Kyrgios said of his injury post-match.
“I did everything I could to get it better and be able to play and I’m lucky I’m healthy enough to play.”
The flashy Aussie also bemoaned playing in front of empty stands, and admitted the absence of a crowd felt off.
“I’ve definitely got a different feel about it. I’m playing Coric … I usually bring a crowd and I look around and there’s like 30 people, it’s a bit odd,” he admitted.
“I don’t think I’m going to experience as good a memories as I have here previously. You talk about (defeating in five sets) Khachanov last year or playing Rafa last year on centre court where it was the highest rating TV match pretty much in tennis history … I don’t think it’s possible to have chances to be part of that again this year – and that’s OK, I’m OK with that, I know we’re just lucky to be playing again.”