Tennis: Holder Kyrgios accuses Acapulco crowd of 'disrespect' after retiring hurt, top seed Nadal advances

Australia's Nick Kyrgios plays against France's Ugo Humbert during the Mexico ATP Open 500 men's singles tennis match in Acapulco, Mexico on Feb 25, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - Nick Kyrgios has accused the Mexican Open crowd of "disrespect" after being jeered following his retirement against Frenchman Ugo Humbert due to a left wrist injury.

The Australian had delighted fans with some superb tennis en route to the title in Mexico last year but it was a different story on Tuesday (Feb 25), when he was forced to quit the first-round clash after losing the opening set 6-3.

The 24-year-old, who was on court for only 32 minutes, later vented his anger in an expletive-laden news conference.

"I'm not healthy, I tried to come here, I tried to play," he told reporters.

"I've been doing media for the tournament, been helping out. I tried to give the fans a little bit of tennis. And their disrespect?"

Kyrgios, placed on probation by the governing body of men's tennis over his behaviour last year, had shown a different side to his character in the lead-up to this year's Australian Open.

He had called on the tennis world to help the victims of Australia's bush-fire crisis and triggered an appeal that raised millions of dollars.

His exit robs the tournament of a potential blockbuster clash with Rafael Nadal, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

Second seed Alexander Zverev moved past qualifier Jason Jung 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 to reach the second round.

The 33-year-old Nadal, playing for the first time since his quarter-final exit to Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open, said: "The most important thing when you have not competed for a while is to win, I needed a match like today to get in rhythm and gain some confidence."

He suffered an early stumble, with Andujar grabbing a break of serve in the opening game as the 19-time Grand Slam winner took time to find his rhythm.

However, Nadal broke back quickly and then opened up a 5-2 lead. Andujar saved three set points to hold serve but Nadal easily held to take the first set.

Andujar never looked like finding a way back into the match in the second set as a dominant Nadal broke in the first game and kept up the momentum, to close out the win emphatically.

The top seed admitted afterwards he was still adjusting to the heat and humidity of conditions in Acapulco. "It was an awkward first round game," Nadal said.

"I had not competed for a while and the temperature change is drastic enough... but I am happy with the victory."

He faces Miomir Kecmanovic in Wednesday's second round. The Serb defeated Australia's Alex de Minaur in Monday's opening round.

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