Nick Kyrgios impressed in his grinding victory over Karen Khachanov on Saturday night, but it wouldn’t feel right without the fiery Australian blowing up at the umpire at least once.
And blow up at the chair umpire Kyrgios did - although this time, many think the Canberra-born world no.26 might have had a point.
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Kyrgios hit the deck at one point in the fourth set, opening a cut in his hand that would eventually need treatment at the change of ends.
Before that could happen umpire Renaud Lichtenstein slapped Kyrgios with a code violation for taking too long between serves after the fall - but Kyrgios had been telling the ball-boy not to touch his bloodstained towel.
There's never a dull moment with @NickKyrgios on court 😮— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 25, 2020
First he plays an unnecessary failed tweener, then drama follows as he argues with the umpire over his bleeding hand
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After being docked a point, a baffled Kyrgios let Lichtenstein know exactly how he felt about the violation.
“Are you stupid?” Kyrgios demanded of the umpire.
“There’s blood on the towel and I told the ball kid not to touch it.
“Did you not see that?”
Still simmering over the incident in the minutes later, Kyrgios called the umpire a ‘f***ing idiot’, before later telling him to ‘do his job’.
Unlike his previous run-ins with tennis officials, Kyrgios managed to get himself back on track - ultimately prevailing in a thrilling fifth set tiebreak.
Kyrgios wins favour with fans
Kyrgios was still confused about the penalty when asked about it after the win.
“My hand was squirting blood,” he said.
“I just made sure that the ball kid wasn’t touching my towel with blood on it.
“Then the umpire just had no idea what was going on apparently.
“My hand is usually brown. It was covered in blood. Something wrong there.”
Normally the object of scorn for many tennis fans, Kyrgios for once gathered a good amount of sympathy from fans online after copping the code violation.
Many thought it was harsh, considering Kyrgios was bleeding and the delay was only because he looking after the ball-boy.
Nick Kyrgios is literally bleeding on court. Umpire gave him a time violation. Bleeding Nick has crowd onside. Umpire knows he made an unintentional but monumental mistake. #AusOpen https://t.co/lCq2miSYv6— Neil McMahon (@NeilMcMahon) January 25, 2020
Does anyone think that the umpire was harsh giving Nick a time violation because he took longer to play because he was explaining to a towel kid that it had blood on it and not to touch it? 😬 #NickKyrgios #AustralianOpen2020 #AusOpen2020 #Tennis #umpire— ☕🦄 Tori🦄☕ (@Addicted2Tennis) January 25, 2020
Dynamic tennis from @NickKyrgios leading @karenkhachanov 2 set to 1 & 5-5 after throwing himself around court, diving for shots & getting 1 on bh volley to win point. Then come 2 aces. But umpire calls him for time wasting, not realizing that Nick had blood on his towel.— Richard Ingham Evans (@Ringham7) January 25, 2020