The best and the worst Nick Kyrgios It was on display in Indian Wells on Thursday, as the highly talented but frustrated Australian lost in three sets to Rafael Nadal in a thrilling quarter-final match.
Kyrgios gave the Spaniard his strongest test of the tournament so far, but Nadal eventually won 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-4 to advance to the semi-final against rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz.
However, Kyrgios smashed his racket in frustration after the defeat and an unfortunate bounce meant he came close to hitting the ball boy, who was able to get out of the way in time.
The incident led to fans booing the 26-year-old, who had previously been involved in a home-and-away match with a fan during the match.
“I just want to apologize to this ball kid at the end of the game,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram. “It was a complete accident and he was frustrated at the end of the match.
“My racket took a crazy bounce and it was never my intention. If anyone knows who this football kid is, send me a message and I will send him a racket. I’m glad he’s okay!”
Kyrgios managed to reach out to the ball boy, who accepted the apology and offered the racket, and posted their exchange on social media.
During one of his service games, Kyrgios gleefully brought up watching Ben Stiller in an exchange he was having with a fan.
“Do you play? Are you good at tennis?” Kyrgios asked the man in the crowd behind him. “Exactly, why are you talking?”
Then he pointed at Stiller and said, “Shall I tell him how to act? No!” Which sparked laughter from the stands.
After the match, Nadal told reporters that he did not see the incident with the racket, but said: “The ATP should review things and make decisions” if these incidents continue.
Last week, Nadal called for tougher penalties for players after Alexander Zverev only received an eight-week suspended ban due to the outrage he suffered in Acapulco, Mexico, last month.
Zverev smashed his racket several times near the referee’s feet after his doubles defeat and called the referee an “idiot” during the match.
“I love him [Kyrgios] “Like a character, but of course when you cross some lines it’s different,” Nadal told reporters after the match. “The problem, in my opinion, is the same. When you let players do things, you don’t know when the streak is.
“It’s tough, but maybe because these situations happen more and more, maybe the ATP has to review things and make decisions. It’s not about today’s match because I haven’t seen what happened, so I can’t give an opinion.
“I hope nothing too bad will happen because I wish him so [Kyrgios] The best… But if it’s bad, the ATP needs to make decisions to avoid that and stop that because sometimes, even if it’s unlucky or unfortunate, in that moment something negative happens.”
Nadal is followed by 18-year-old Spain’s Alcaraz, who defeated defending champion Cameron Norrie in straight sets.