Tennis bad boy Kyrgios claims opposing coach 'tried to fight him'
The often controversial Australian, who was dumped out of the singles competition by Russia's Daniil Medvedev, claimed that an irate trainer linked to Croatian top seeds Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic tried to fight him after on-court tensions boiled over into the locker room.
After losing in straight sets to the Australian duo Pavic, the world's top-ranked doubles player, hit out at what he suggested was an overly-heated and occasionally disrespectful audience inside Melbourne Park throughout the match with Kyrgios and his doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis.
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
"They are pretty loud," said Pavic of the partisan crowd, echoing similar claims made by Medvedev following his win against Kyrgios
"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. That’s how they are here. We’re used to that. But like I said, it wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect."
The drama, Kyrgios later stated on social media, didn't stop when the players left the court.
"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 wrote on Twitter.
"Tennis is a soft soft sport [Thanasi Kokkinakis] all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball."
"That was crazy," Kokkinakis responded, along with a string of 'laughing emojis'.
"Mans thought it was UFC."
Pavic and his doubles partner Mektic have not commented on the matter or responded to the allegations made by both Kyrgios and Kokkinakis on social media, but the alleged incident is the latest in what has proved to be a highly-contentious Australian Open thus far.
In addition to the Novak Djokovic visa scandal which rocked the sports world for much of the past two weeks, several other players - including British great Andy Murray - have criticized sections of the Australian fans for what they claim to be disrespectful behavior in the stands.
Medvedev, however, made peace with the audience inside Melbourne Park following his third round win against Botic van de Zandschulp after previously saying that the "low IQ" crowd" should "show some respect" towards the players.