Shanghai and dry
Kyrgios draws jeers yet again before apologising for retiring in China
Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios apologised and said he had been unwell after he stormed off court to loud boos midway through his opening match at the Shanghai Masters.
The 22-year-old made an abrupt exit yesterday after losing the first set 7/5 on a tie break to the American Steve Johnson, having been docked a point for the second match running because of his conduct.
The ATP Tour said it had launched an investigation and Kyrgios, similarly hit with a point penalty in losing the China Open final to Rafael Nadal on Sunday, said he was “gutted” to retire.
“I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today, which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today, which didn’t help either, and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I’ve not eaten much the past 24 hours.”
Kyrgios hit a low point in Shanghai a year ago when he similarly left the court to jeers, having appeared to give up in his match against Germany’s Mischa Zverev. Kyrgios was consequently suspended.
Kyrgios did look in discomfort with his shoulder early on in the match against tohnson. He seemed untroubled by the injury when they entered the first-set tie break though his temper soon got the better of him.
He went 3-0 up in the tie break but as Johnson pegged him back he was irked by spectators getting up between points.
“What’s happening here?” he asked, before muttering: “Exactly why I shouldn’t come here.”
Kyrgios appeared to blame the umpire for failing to get the crowd in line and his day spiralled fast when he received a point penalty.
“What is he doing? Is this normal?” Kyrgios asked somebody in the official area of the arena. “Poor officiating again,” Kyrgios then complained. “Sick of this place.”
Johnson won the set and Kyrgios decided he had had enough, shaking the hands of his opponent and the umpire – though not looking him in the eye – and packing his bag.
Return to sender: Nick Kyrgios aired his frustrations before withdrawing in China.