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Kyrgios smashes racquet as he reaches doubles final

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Tennis’ bad boy Nick Kyrgios was at it again yesterday, smashing a racquet and flipping a finger at the crowd as he and partner Thanasi Kokkinakis ensured an all-Australian Melbourne Park men’s doubles final for the first time in 42 years.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis defeated third seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to set up a final tomorrow against fellow Australians Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.

The combustible Kyrgios hit boiling point as he complained about the net cord machine, then pulled out of a service motion at 4-2 in the first set.

He also complained that the Rod Laver Arena crowd were yelling in between first and second serves, despite the fact that he and Kokkinakis had been whipping up the fans into a boorish frenzy.

He flipped a finger at one section of the crowd, petulantly threw a ball against a wall and smashed his racquet after he dropped his serve.

Nick Kyrgios and compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis are interviewed after their win over Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. PHOTO: AP

“When are you going to control the crowd, bro?” he pleaded with the chair umpire, James Keothavong.

“You’re gonna keep letting them scream before I serve? It happened four times that game.”
The Kyrgios complaints about the crowd echo those of some of his opponents earlier in the tournament, and seem surprising given his partner Kokkinakis had said “the rowdier the better from everyone”.

Daniil Medvedev took aim at sections of crowd following his singles victory over Kyrgios a week ago, saying: “They probably have a low IQ.”

Quarter-final doubles opponent Michael Venus then labelled Kyrgios an “absolute knob” for his antics on court.

But Kyrgios said he would not rise to the jibe after his semi-final win with Kokkinakis.

“I’m not going to destroy (Venus) in this media conference room right now,” he said.

“But Zeballos and Granollers are singles players. They’ve had great careers. I respect them a lot more than I respect Michael Venus.”

The controversy has not only been to do with the yobbish behaviour of spectators.

Kyrgios accused a coach and trainer associated with Croatian doubles pair Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic of threatening to fight him after the top seeds were bundled out.

“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,” he said on Twitter.

Kokkinakis responded, “That was crazy!! Man thought it was @ufc,” referring to the mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship.