Nick Kyrgios has sensationally claimed that he was threatened with a fight after his doubles upset at the Australian Open on Friday.
Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis knocked out the world No. 1 by beating Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic for what the Croatian Wimbledon and Olympic champions said was a disrespectful audience.
But the match-up turned sour over what Kyrgios said was his opponent’s team disagreed with a player being hit by a ball.
Kyrgios shared the story on Twitter on Saturday morning.
“Just wanted to let you know that my opponent’s coach and trainer started fighting in the doubles gym yesterday after the chop party in the player’s gym,” he wrote.
“Tennis is a soft, soft sport… all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball.”
Kokkinakis was reportedly sharing updates with former Australian player Sam Groth at the time of the incident.
He said it was Pavic’s fitness trainer who apparently challenged Kyrgios.
“That was crazy!! Mans thought it was UFC,” Kokkinakis wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Pavic and Mektic were put off by the rough Kia Arena crowd, even before Kyrgios and Kokkinakis sealed the 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 victory.
“It’s loud. They’re pretty loud. Obviously they’re encouraging the Aussies,” Pavic said after losing the shock.
“We also saw what it was like with (Daniil) Medvedev yesterday.
“So, yeah, I mean, that’s how they are here. We are used to that. But like I said, yes, it wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect.”
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who are both out in singles, will face Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar, the 16th seed, or the German duo Dominik Koepfer and Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round.
Kyrgios urged the organizers of the Australian Open to move his next doubles match to a bigger court.
Tennis drawcard faces crucial rankings drop
Nick Kyrgios enjoys the moment and doesn’t look ahead. He’s unsure what the future holds after an Australian Open second-round exit left tennis’s most mercurial talent at another crossroads of his career.
As brave and exciting as he was in a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 4-6 6-2 defeat to world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Thursday night, Kyrgios faces another alarming freefall on the ranking.
The one-time world number 13 is expected to tumble to 124th after the Open, leaving him well outside the cut-off for direct entry into the last three grand slams of the season.
Kyrgios feared playing on clay courts, despite once beating Roger Federer on the slow red earth, Kyrgios chose not to compete in last year’s French Open before going straight to the greener pastures of Wimbledon.
Kyrgios may be walking the same path in 2022, but if not, he will have to raise his rankings, risk qualifying or chase a wildcard to Roland Garros from May.
But none of these scenarios came to Kyrgios’ mind after he bowed out of the singles at Melbourne Park.
“Look, I’m not looking forward to it at all. I’m going to enjoy tonight. I don’t plan things, I don’t really care what happens in a month,” he said.
“We all know that people can doubt me as much as they want, but they know I will show up for games like this.
“That’s why the audience is what it is, that’s why the tickets are the way they are, that’s why the views are the way they are. It all speaks for itself.”
Kyrgios played only his second game in four months, but still wowed the crowd with breathtaking shots and amazing tricks.
“It doesn’t matter how little I train or how much I play, I will always lift for these kinds of competitions,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m not going to shy away from it. Of course I’m not happy with Daniil Medvedev equalizing in the second round, because my ranking went down.
“If I play 95 percent of the people on that pitch tonight, I think I’ll win, to be honest.
“But that’s the way it is. I am proud. I’m just proud of the way I’ve behaved. I fought. I put on a good show, and that’s it.
“I’m not thinking about tournaments and my next tournaments or anything like that.”
In any case, Kyrgios plans to travel again, with the two-time grand slam quarter-finalist revealing the Dallas Open as his next tournament starting February 7.
He then heads to Delray Beach and Indian Wells for the first Masters 1000 event of the year.
When asked if the rumors are true that this could be his last season on tour, the 26-year-old said: “I don’t know what I’ll be doing in a year.”
“I probably play tennis, but like I said, I don’t know. I don’t know,” he added.
“I probably plan to play, but I’m only thinking about tonight and tomorrow. I’ll keep my feet up.”