Nick Kyrgios branded his box “retarded” before darkness denied Australia’s big Wimbledon hope a place in the fourth round alongside Bernard Tomic.
While Tomic charged to a 6-2 6-4 6-4 win over 14th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut in less than two hours, Kyrgios must return on Sunday after his third-round clash with Feliciano Lopez was suspended for the night locked at one set apiece.
Hoping to set up a last-16 showdown on Monday with new title favourite Andy Murray, Kyrgios won the first set 6-3 and dropped the second 7-6 (7-2) in a tiebreaker before play was stopped.
Kyrgios required a medical timeout for a nose bleed during the first set, but that will be the least of his concerns.
As well as having to quell the Lopez threat, he can expect almost inevitable backlash for his latest outburst.
Just two days ago, Tomic was forced to apologise for saying he felt “like a retard” while being left waiting on court for eight minutes for his second-round opponent – another left-handed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco – to arrive.
Kyrgios was furious at his entourage for not offering enough vocal support during his tight tussle on show court one and social media was quick to light up with criticism of his conduct.
He also received a code violation for belting a ball in frustration after dropping serve in the sixth game of the second set.
But the suspension will at least give the hot head the chance to cool down and regather himself as he attempts to make the second week at the All England Club for the third straight year.
Murray is lying in wait for Kyrgios or Lopez after ending the run of fellow Australian John Millman with a clinical 6-3 7-5 6-2 win earlier on Saturday.
The second-seeded 2013 champion rocketed into clear title favouritism following the shock exit of defending champion and world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Murray, though, said Sam Querrey’s upset win over Djokovic proved he could take anything for granted – especially on grass.
“Nick and Feli are both very, very good grasscourt players,” he said.
“The bookies don’t always get it right. They made a few mistakes over the last few weeks across a number of different things.
“You know, your job is to go out there and try to win the matches that are there in front of you. That’s what I’ll try and do.”