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23 Jan, 2022 15:40

Kyrgios elaborates on dressing room fracas with ‘salty’ opponents

Controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios has revealed what happened when he says an opposing coach tried to fight him and his doubles partner after a heated match
Kyrgios elaborates on dressing room fracas with ‘salty’ opponents

Tennis bad boy Kyrgios rarely strays too far from the headlines and has again found himself at the center of controversy after he and his partner in the ongoing Australian Open claimed that the coach of Croatian doubles top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic attempted to fight them backstage after a contentious match on Friday night.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis dumped the top seeds out of the men's doubles competition in a showdown which, at times, appeared may get out of hand in front of a partisan hometown crowd.

Following the encounter, which the Australian duo won in straight sets, Kyrgios claimed on social media that the Croats' coach attempted to assault them in the dressing room in retaliation for Kyrgios hitting them with a ball after Pavic had accused the pair of 'disrespect'.

"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," Kyrgios wrote on social media late on Friday. "Tennis is a soft soft sport... all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball."

"That was crazy." agreed Kokkinakis. "Mans thought it was UFC."

Following their win against Gonzalo Escobar and Ariel Behar on Sunday which advanced Kyrgios and Kokkinakis to the quarterfinals, the pair were pressed on the Croatian confrontation – and they couldn't quite help twisting the knife a little bit more.

"Enjoy your flight home," Kyrgios said, as the two erupted into laughter.

"It was pretty funny – I'm not going to lie," added Kokkinakis.

"Me and Nick were trying to be professionals so we went into the gym after our doubles match for maybe one of the first times ever. I’m going to be honest, it was Pavic’s fitness trainer, he came up and smashed a foam roller against a pole as hard as he could.

"I thought he was kind of joking, I wasn’t sure if he was about to berate his players. 

"He came up to Nick and said we were being disrespectful; Nick hit an opponent with a ball but that’s normal, these doubles players have got unbelievable hands so you have to go at them."

While Kokkinakis said he sees the lighter side of the standoff, he admitted that he expected better of the tournament's top seeds.

"At the end of the day, they were a bit salty they lost," he said. "They’ve won their fair share of tournaments so I don’t know, I thought they’d handle losing a little better than that.

"We’re just trying to entertain the crowd. We didn’t mean anything disrespectful, we’re just trying to get the crowd and ourselves up. It was a little aggressive on his part though, for sure."

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will face sixth seeds Tim Putz and Michael Venus in the final eight. The Australian Open continues until January 30 2022.