Australian Open tennis: Nick Kyrgios’ brutal wheel to battle drama. Video / Wide sports world
Nick Kyrgios has had the final say on the dressing room drama, with the brash Aussie telling the smoking Czech stars to “enjoy your flight home”.
Paired with great mate Thanasi Kokkinakis for the doubles, the pair was one of the stories of the Open, drawing huge crowds and knocking out two seeded pairs.
Earlier in the week, the Aussies, who are becoming known as the “Special K’s,” knocked out the highest-placed pair and Olympic gold medalists Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic from the Open.
Wild scenes followed the packed Aussies, calls of “Siu” at almost every point and general rowdy behavior made it difficult for opponents against Kyrgios in singles or doubles.
But the drama nearly exploded after footage of a heated discussion in the locker rooms circulated.
Kyrgios wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “I informed you that my opponent’s coach and trainer threatened to fight in the player’s gym after the doubles chop yesterday.
“Tennis is a soft sport @TKokkinakis all because I moved them and hit them with a tennis ball.”
It was because Kyrgios hit the ball to one of the players instead of giving them a chance to return with a reflex shot.
But Kokkinakis and Kyrgios have had the final say after being questioned following their 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over 15th seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar.
“Mate, it was pretty funny, I’m not going to lie,” Kokkinakis said.
“Me and Nick trying to be pros so we went to the gym after our doubles match, maybe one of the first times ever.
“I’m going to be honest, it was Pavic’s fitness trainer and he came up and he hit a foam roller as hard as he can against a pole and I thought he was kidding, I wasn’t sure if he was about to kick his players out.” to scold.
“And he came up to Nick and said we were disrespectful and we… Nick hit the opponent with a ball, but that’s normal, these doubles have an incredible hand, so you have to attack them.
“And they said we were showboating, but I’m sure if we had played in Croatia it would have been the same.
“So it was just our energy and I think they were a bit salty at the end of the day that they lost because they’ve won a fair share of the tournaments so I don’t know, I thought they’re losing a bit would handle better than that.
“But at the end of the day, we’re just trying to entertain the audience, we didn’t mean anything disrespectful, we were trying to boost ourselves and our energy. However, it was all aggressive on his part.”
In summary, Kyrgios added with a laugh: “Enjoy your flight home”.
Kyrgios added that the pair had taken doubles to a “new level”.
“We’re taking the game to a new level. Not just on a double field,” he said.
“I’ve seen the ratings – they’re up 45 percent, mate. Let’s face it. People come to see him play because he’s exciting. This is what we need. We need it for the sport.”
Kokkinakis added that they are entertaining, and although “He’s a bit more showboat than I am,” they work well together.
“Every time we play it feels like a Davis Cup atmosphere,” he said. “We sometimes have more people watching than guys going deep into singles and that’s what it’s all about in the end.”
Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said earlier in the day that it is “not unusual” for there to be so much “passion”.
“There was a lot of passion and a lot of energy in the stadium and I think that was carried through outside the stadium,” Tiley said. “I have spoken to Nick and the team and this is not unusual.
“It’s not uncommon… when you have a situation like this and players are beaten and they are expected to win the game and there is so much passion from the fans.”
Tiley’s response stunned Weekend Today host Charles Croucher. “Don’t doubt the passion, but are you saying it’s not uncommon for a coach to threaten a player after a game?” asked Croucher.
Tiley clarified his stance, adding: “No. We will look closely at that, we will continue to look closely at that. Like I said, I spoke to Nick and Thanasi.
“What is not unusual and not unusual is the passion, but there are certainly rules and there are conditions for how you react at the end of the game.”