He promised Wimbledon fans a circus against German showman Dustin Brown, but it was Nick Kyrgios’s post-match press conference that descended into a sideshow.
Baited by a London tabloid reporter, Kyrgios was unable to bite his tongue when the journalist got his facts wrong following the 15th seed’s five-set second-round escape on Friday.
Kyrgios received a code violation for swearing in frustration at his box after chair umpire Jake Garner mistakenly ruled a double-hop against the Australian on the opening point of the third set.
Even Brown unloaded on the American official for getting that call wrong and also ruling a let on one of the German’s serves that Brown thought easily cleared the net.
“Obviously here and there we both thought that the ref didn’t do a good job,” Brown said.
So when a reporter asked Kyrgios if he thought swearing while talking to an umpire might put his opponent off, the young firebrand quickly made his own overrule, saying Garner’s double-hop call was “horrendous”.
“Is that bad language? Have you never said a swear word before? Have you never said a swear word in your life?,” Kyrgios challenged the reporter.
“Can you answer my question?”
Reporter: “No. It’s your job to answer mine.”
Kyrgios: “So you’ve never sworn in your life?”
After the reporter back-tracked, Kyrgios followed up with: “So I didn’t swear. So how is that going to affect another player by saying ‘horrendous job’?
“I think you can figure that out, champ.”
Kyrgios, who before the match tweeted his support for Viktor Troicki after the Serb spectacularly blew his top at Italian umpire Damiano Torella the day before, admitted he was perplexed by constant questioning of his behaviour.
“Did you see Dustin arguing with the umpire as well? Did anyone see that?” he said.
“Did you see Dustin arguing with him, too, or just me?
“There’s plenty of players that ask the umpire questions. I’m not necessarily arguing with the umpire. I just want to hear what he thinks.
“I just want to tell him my opinion. I’m not necessarily getting angry at the umpire, I’m just having a conversation with him.
“I thought my behaviour was really good throughout the match. Obviously went a little bit off track towards the third.
“At the same time, I thought it was okay, to be honest.
“The crowd was loving it. I’m sure a lot of people around the world were watching that match.
“That’s what sport is. It’s entertainment, isn’t it?”