Surprise sympathy for Nick Kyrgios after umpire's 'monumental mistake'

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

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.

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.

Nick Kyrgios argues with the chair umpire during his third round match against Karen Khachanov. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

“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.