Nick Kyrgios says his opponent’s coach and trainer threatened to fight him after he and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis beat top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6(8) 6-3 on Friday.
Speaking on Australian broadcaster Nine, former tennis player-turned-pundit Sam Groth said Kokkinakis had told him a confrontation almost broke out between Pavic’s fitness trainer and Kyrgios.
“Thanasi actually messaged me as it was happening and said Nick got accosted in the locker room by Pavic’s fitness trainer and (they) obviously weren’t very happy,” Groth said.
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“They’re the number one team in the world, the number one seeds going down against Thanasi and Nick.
“They didn’t accept what was going on with the crowd, didn’t accept what was going on with Nick and I think it’s a little bit soft.
“To take it off the court into the locker room, and not even from the players. From someone from the team, it’s not necessary.”
Kyrgios wrote on Twitter: “Just letting you know after yesterday’s chop fest in doubles my opponents coach and trainer proceeded to threaten to fight in the players gym.
“Tennis is a soft soft sport @TKokkinakis all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball.”
Kokkinakis replied to Kyrgios’ tweet, writing: “(Laughing emojis) that was crazy!! Mans thought it was @ufc.”
‘They’re here to watch us, not you!’ – Kyrgios in foul-mouthed rant at umpire
Former tennis professional Mark Philippoussis, also working for Nine, said Kyrgios was well within his rights to hit a ball straight at a player if it drops short near the net.
“In doubles, you’re playing good doubles players with great hands,” the two-time Grand Slam finalist said.
“If you get a short ball, you’re going straight for the guy at the net. You say sorry, you might not mean it but you say sorry. That’s the play, you go straight for them.”
Pavic hit out at the crowd who watched the doubles match in the post-match press conference. He said that “it wouldn’t hurt to show some respect”.
“That’s how they are here,” the Croatian told reporters. “We’re used to that, but it wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect.
“The guys played really well. They’re a nasty team to beat here and that’s it.”
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