Nick Kyrgios accuses Croatian trainer of trying to fight him in locker room
Australian agent provocateur Nick Kyrgios is once again at the centre of controversy after allegedly accusing a Croatian fitness trainer of trying to fight him in the players’ gym.
The claim – which was echoed by Kyrgios’s friend and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis – came after the so-called “Special Ks” had eliminated top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic from the tournament on Friday night.
The match was played on Kia Arena in front of 7,000 delirious Australian fans, and there was a flashpoint when Kyrgios hit a volley towards his opponents from short range.
This moment – which is hardly unusual in a doubles match – appeared to cause lasting ill-feeling. According to a tweet posted by Kyrgios himself, he received an angry approach from a member of the Croatian support staff after the match.
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 😂😂
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 21, 2022
Kyrgios’s allegation was then repeated by Kokkinakis, who cited the Ultimate Fighting Championship in his own Twitter message: “That was crazy!! Mans thought it was @ufc”.
In the interview room after the Croatians’ shock 7-6, 6-3 defeat, Pavic had complained about the boisterous fans in the Kia Arena. “They are pretty loud,” he said. “Obviously they cheer for Aussies. It wouldn't hurt them to show some respect to all opponents, to other players.
"We saw yesterday also with Medvedev how it was,” Pavic added. “So, yeah, I mean, that's how they are here. We're used to that. But like I said, yeah, it wouldn't hurt them to show some respect."
The Croatian pair and the fitness trainer are yet to comment on what Kyrgios alleges took place.
Kyrgios has inspired some unusual displays of support from local fans this weeks, with the peculiar cry of “Siuuu” – a reference to the sound that Cristiano Ronaldo makes when he scores – ringing out around the stands.
Medvedev – who beat Kyrgios in four sets on Thursday – was caustic after the match about the way some fans had been making that noise between his first and second serves.
"It's not everybody who is doing it,” he told Eurosport, “but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ."