CINCINNATI (Ohio) • Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios fired back at Stan Wawrinka on Thursday over suggestions that he had not apologised for his lurid outburst at the tennis star.
Wawrinka criticised the Australian on Wednesday after stating that the latter had not made a proper apology for crude remarks concerning the Swiss' reported girlfriend, teenager Donna Vekic.
"He didn't really apologise to the people. He should," Wawrinka said in Cincinnati.
However, Kyrgios, who was fined by the Association of Tennis Professionals for his remarks, insisted on Thursday he had made both private and public apologies.
"I have been reading reports that I did not apologise for my comments, which is untrue," he said in a statement posted on Facebook. "I privately and publicly apologised immediately after the match last week.
"There is no blame game, I take full responsibility for what was said and for what has been a difficult learning experience."
In remarks made to a Canadian newspaper earlier this week, Vekic, 19, said she had not received any communication from Kyrgios over the incident.
On the court, Wawrinka fought hard to beat Ivo Karlovic 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) and enter the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open. He will meet top seed Novak Djokovic who despatched 13th-seeded Belgian David Goffin 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Wawrinka was forced to dig deep in his third-round clash where big-serving Karlovic fired 35 aces to his opponent's eight.
But the Croat's biggest weapon faltered when he needed it most as he double-faulted while serving to save match point.
"I'm really happy to get the win," said Wawrinka. "You need to stay calm and aggressive.
"I'm happy with the way I stayed positive and always made him play one more ball."
World No. 1 Djokovic ran into trouble when his 24-year-old opponent broke in the first game of the second set. It resulted in the frustrated Serb smashing his racket on the hard court.
Goffin went on to win eight of the next 10 games to put himself in position for a massive upset.
However, Djokovic found his groove in time to prevail and set up a French Open final rematch against Wawrinka.
"Credit to him for playing some solid, consistent tennis, always making me play an extra shot," Djokovic said.
"Luckily for me, I managed to bounce back, dig myself out of the hole I was in."
Defending champion Roger Federer cruised into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of South African Kevin Anderson on an otherwise tough day for the top seeds that saw Rafael Nadal eliminated by Spain's Feliciano Lopez 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
World No. 2 Andy Murray, who won the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Sunday, looked a little jaded after a tough two weeks.
However, the Briton recovered to beat Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 7-6, (7-3), 7-5 in a little under three hours after twice looking to be headed for defeat.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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