Nick Kyrgios has labelled Andrey Rublev “crazy” after the Russian repeatedly smashed his racket against his own knee during his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP Tour Finals on Wednesday. Rublev was a frustrated figure throughout the showdown as he was defeated 7-5 6-2 by the Wimbledon champion.
Rublev was second best during his encounter with Alcaraz as the Spaniard moved him around the court and played a series of breathtaking winners. And after being broken in the first game of the second set, he turned his anger on himself.
The 26-year-old raised his racket in the air and smashed it against his left knee six times as he walked off the court. And the incident even left him with a cut, which started to bleed. He was, however, able to continue the match after avoiding injury.
Kyrgios, who missed all four of this year’s Grand Slams through injury, is currently working as a commentator for the Tennis Channel from the comfort of their Los Angeles studios. The Australian is known for his fiery temperament and has often smashed rackets in the past. But even he couldn’t believe the scenes he had witnessed in Turin.
Click here to join our WhatsApp community to be the first to receive breaking and exclusive tennis news.
“I mean, from someone who holds their composure pretty well, like myself, this is crazy,” Kyrgios joked as he gave his verdict on the incident. “I’ve never done that, to be honest. I mean, he needs a knee.” The 2022 Wimbledon finalist then remarked: “I hope he’s alright for his next match, let me say that much.”
And Kyrgios was adamant that players should hold themselves together during difficult moments of matches. “Just to the towel, composure, next point,” he added.
Former tennis star Andy Roddick joined the debate via video link and called out Kyrgios for the irony of his comments as he quipped: “That’s the Kyrgios special – no emotion, just straight to the towel, no problem.”
And the American then called Rublev “dumb” for his behaviour as he added: “I’m fine with people throwing stuff. I’d be a hypocrite if I criticised anyone hitting a ball out of the stadium. Victimless crimes, right. But when you’re banging your thigh as hard as you can, especially when you can create speed like Rublev, I’m not sure what the upside is here.
“I get smashing a racket, you get it out of your system, you move on with it, you probably get more rackets, no problem. This one I can’t really get with though. This is just kind of dumb.”