MONTREAL • Nick Kyrgios has again managed to attract attention for the wrong reasons, after the Australian tennis player apparently sledged his opponent, world No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, during a Rogers Cup match in Montreal on Wednesday.
During the second-round tie, an on-court microphone picked up Kyrgios telling the Swiss two-time grand slam champion: "Kokkinakis b****d your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that mate."
Kyrgios, who was presumably referring to his fellow Australian and Davis Cup team-mate Thanasi Kokkinakis, claimed later he had been provoked into making the comment during what was a heated contest.
"He was getting a bit lippy with me," he said. "Kind of in the heat of the moment, I don't know. I just said it."
It was unclear if Wawrinka heard the insult during the match as he shook hands with Kyrgios after he withdrew with a back injury while trailing 0-4 in the third set, but his coach Magnus Norman criticised the Australian on Twitter later.
KYRGIOS HITS A NEW LOW
He was getting a bit lippy with me. Kind of in the heat of the moment, I don't know. I just said it...
NICK KYRGIOS, attempting in vain to justify his on-court taunt against Wawrinka
"That was really really low Nick Kyrgios," Norman wrote. "Hope for u that u have people around that will teach u a thing or 2 about life tonight. Very bad."
TIME FOR THE ATP TO ACT
I just hope the ATP will take big measures against him... every match he has problems.
STAN WAWRINKA, Swiss world No. 5, on the Australian's ugly mid-match sledge
Wawrinka has been linked romantically with the Croatian player Donna Vekic, the women's world No. 129, after his marriage to his wife Ilham broke down earlier this year.
"It's not the first time that he has big problems on court in terms of what he says and in terms how he acts," he said, adding that he had confronted Kyrgios in the locker room, though the 20-year-old had attempted to avoid him.
"I just hope the ATP will take big measures against him because he is young, maybe but there's no excuse. Every match he has problems. Every match he behaves very badly.
"On top of that the problem is that he doesn't just behave badly towards himself he behaves badly toward the people around, the other players, the ball kids, the umpires."
The latest controversy comes just days after it was revealed that Kyrgios has turned to Lleyton Hewitt for guidance in a career that some feel is headed off track.
The 20-year-old from Canberra has become a magnet for controversy in recent months. At this year's Wimbledon, he was forced to deny accusations of insulting an umpire and throwing a game at separate stages of the tournament.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS
ATP ROGERS CUP
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