Nick Kyrgios is at it again.
The tennis star has a world of talent, but far too often in his professional career, Kyrgios has made news for the wrong reasons. That again happened Wednesday at the Shanghai Masters.
Kyrgios all but gave up on his match vs. Mischa Zverev, losing 6-3, 6-1, a defeat capped by an utter lack of effort. At one point, Kyrgios just tapped a serve over the net and walked off the court before Zverev even returned.
According to ESPN.com, Kyrgios’ antics also included light serves (67 mph) on his first serve followed by huge second-serve attempts with faults registering at 130 mph, obviously the exact opposite strategy that most tennis players use.
Looking genuinely disinterested, Kyrgios also did a little show-boating, although that tactic “worked” for the 21-year-old.
Fans eventually booed and heckled Kyrgios, reportedly prompting him to ask fans if they wanted to “come here and play.”
After the match, reporters asked him about his performance and the fans’ reaction, and Kyrgios unsurprisingly was having none of it.
“What does that even mean?” he responded when asked if he owed fans a better effort, according to ESPN.com. “I’m good at hitting a tennis ball at the net. Big deal. I don’t owe them anything. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come. Just leave.”
Probably not the best way to promote the sport, but then again, Kyrgios seems to enjoy being his own man.
He did just win last week in Tokyo, which might have added to his level of interest or lack thereof in the match.
“I guess that’s why I’m trying to work on being able to be consistent every week,” he said, per ESPN.com. “Just took the easy way out tonight and obviously didn’t show up at all.”
He followed that up with a similarly worded tweet.
We’ve seen Kyrgios accused of tanking before. He came under fire for a perceived lack of effort at Wimbledon in 2015, claims he refuted.
Kyrgios also enraged plenty of tennis fans last year in a match with Stan Wawrinka, trash talking Warinka about his girlfriend during a match in Montreal. The comments ultimately earned him a suspension.
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