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30 Mar, 2022 10:10

Tennis wildman Kyrgios in meltdown over ‘horrendous’ umpire (VIDEO)

Kyrgios branded the official an 'absolute clown' and called for him to be 'fired on the spot' in an explosive Miami Open defeat
Tennis wildman Kyrgios in meltdown over ‘horrendous’ umpire (VIDEO)

Tempestuous tennis badboy Nick Kyrgios claimed that umpire Carlos Bernardes was unanimously "hated" by the crowd and should have been fired during an acrimonious round of 16 defeat to Jannik Sinner at the Miami Open.

Notoriously hot-headed Kyrgios lost his cool in typically spectacular fashion during his straight-sets defeat, smashing rackets, calling Bernandes an "absolute clown" and walking past the official at the end of the match rather than shaking his hand.

The world number 37 received three code violations for obscenities and destroying his racket, meaning he lost a game and came close to suffering disqualification.

"You should be fired on the spot," Kyrgios shouted after Fernandes' walkie-talkie accidentally went off at one point.

"How's that possible? The fourth round of Miami, one of the biggest tournaments, and you guys can't do your job.

"It is embarrassing. Get rid of every single staff [member] and start over. I'll run the sport. I could do a hundred times better job."

The incensed Australian later told Fernandes: "The court is the worst, the crowd is the worst, everyone is the worst – when you're in the chair."

The incident came within 24 hours of Kyrgios praising WTA Grand Slam title winner Naomi Osaka for speaking openly about mental health.

"I would say he's a nice guy, very polite and we have talked about stuff like that – but not really deeply, kind of at a more surface level," Osaka said ahead of her quarterfinals thrashing of Danielle Collins.

"I also felt that his behavior – I'm not trying to be offensive, I hope he doesn't read it this way – was of someone who couldn't handle the pressure, who was overwhelmed. I relate to that feeling a lot but I think we channel it in different ways.

"He also has a lot of responsibility because even now, coming to the practice courts, he has a lot of kids watching him. I know that he loves that but it's a bit of a double-sided coin."

Kyrgios bemoaned the lack of punishment he believes Bernardes will receive for a "dreadful" performance.

The Brazilian has been an ATP Tour official since 1990 and oversaw US Open finals in 2006 and 2008 and the 2011 Wimbledon men's final.

“He was horrendous," said Kyrgios. “I have never been a part of a match where an umpire was hated that much.

"Today he made it about himself, like his feelings got hurt apparently from what I said, from what the crowd’s feeling. You can’t be like that if you’re an umpire. I’m sorry.

“I know I’m a good person. I don’t really care but I don’t understand what you could possibly fine me for today."

Former contender Tim Henman backed Bernandes. "For the vast part of the match, [he] got it spot on," the Briton said on Amazon Prime.

"He gave Nick a little bit of leeway in the first set – but if you behave like that, you have to face the consequences."

Kyrgios later returned to court alongside compatriot and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, beating third seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers in straight sets to reach the semifinals.

"Don’t get it twisted," he said of his singles match on social media, where he also told a reader who accused him of being a bad sport that "no-one gives a flying f*ck about your opinion."

"I got mad respect for [Sinner] – he is one of my favourite players and he was too good.

"I am aiming all of this at an umpire who clearly isn't good enough to be doing these matches. Nothing but a slap on the wrist for him, right? What a joke."