Nick Kyrgios accused officials of “rigging” his first-round match at the Fever-Tree Championships and admonished himself for “playing FIFA until 3am”.
The outspoken Australian, renowned for his on-court outbursts and meltdowns, launched an expletive-ridden rant at umpire Fergus Murphy after missing a set point against Roberto Carballes Baena, claiming the Spaniard had double-faulted.
He said: “Bro you are taking the f****** p*** mate? The ball was this far out, no joke. No joke. What are you doing? It’s so far long. What are you doing?
“Like, what are you actually doing up there? It was this far out. Bro, it’s taking the p***. I refuse to play.”
After Murphy issued a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, Kyrgios continued his tirade.
“It couldn’t have been further out. What are you doing? Jesus. Was that not out, the second serve? It’s a joke, man. It’s a serious joke,” he said.
“Like, your hat looks ridiculous, also. It’s not even sunny.”
After another point, Kyrgios added: “The ball was this far out on the second serve. I’m going. I’m not going to give 100 per cent when I’ve got linesmen rigging the game, I don’t want to play.
“You wonder why I don’t try half the time. Literally the set had finished, he double-faulted. Why am I playing at 5-5? Absolute joke.”
Having won the first set on a tie-break, Kyrgios was closing in on the match when he hit a poor lob to gift Carballes Baena a point.
“So lazy, do something, so lazy you are,” he muttered to himself. “You were playing FIFA until 3am, what do you expect?”
In the final game Kyrgios, 40-0 down, petulantly began returning from just outside the service line and somehow wrapped up the match 7-6 (4) 6-3.
As if that were not enough, Kyrgios faced a second match due to rain delays earlier in the week, and was beaten in three sets by Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.
It was a tame affair by comparison, although Kyrgios still managed to collect a code violation after smacking a ball right out of Queen’s Club.
He threw in a smattering of underarm serves, overruled one line call in favour of his opponent and ranted at a camerawoman for taking his photo while he blew his nose.
The match went with serve until 6-5 in the third when Auger-Aliassime secured the only break to win 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) 7-5.