LONDON • The Queen's Club Championships crowd were treated to two Nick Kyrgios appearances for the price of one on Thursday, and as ever, he did not fail to deliver unrivalled drama.
There is never a dull moment whenever the volatile Australian is on the court, and like previous incidents, it will come at a cost to him.
An outburst at umpire Fergus Murphy during his 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory against Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round was the subject of discussion between tournament officials as they determined the size of his fine.
This is the second year in a row that the 24-year-old has been disciplined at the event.
Last season, he was fined about £13,200 (S$22,686) for simulating masturbation with his water bottle during his semi-final exit.
There were no rude gestures on Thursday, though, merely expletives that earned him a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct.
It came late in the first set after he was incensed by a line call and he unleashed a tirade at Murphy for failing to overrule.
"Bro, you are taking the f****** piss, mate," the world No. 39 said. "The ball was this far out, no joke. No joke. What are you doing? It's so far long. What are you actually doing up there? It was this far out. Bro, it's taking the piss. I refuse to play."
After receiving a warning, he added: "It's a serious joke. Your hat looks ridiculous, also. It's not even sunny."
Kyrgios even accused a line judge of fixing the match, to which he was told by Murphy to "be careful" with his words.
Rant aside, he was also observed berating himself for being "so lazy" after "playing (video game) Fifa till 3am", and it showed in his second-round match later on, when he lost 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 to Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime.
But in his post-match interview, he was in no mood to discuss the defeat, instead directing his ire at world No. 1 Novak Djokovic when asked if the Serb could lend a guiding hand.
The pair were at loggerheads after Kyrgios recently accused the 15-time Grand Slam winner of having a "sick obsession" with being as universally liked as Roger Federer.
While Djokovic earlier this week told reporters that he had offered an olive branch, claiming "he can turn to me if he needs anything", Kyrgios bristled at that suggestion, before firing back, "Why would I?"
THE TIMES, LONDON