Tennis: Nick Kyrgios denies 'taking a knee' in defiance of US President Donald Trump

Nick Kyrgios hitting a shot against Roger Federer during the Laver Cup tournament in Prague on Sept 24, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Prague (AFP) - Controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios denied on Sunday that his kneeling down gesture before his Laver Cup clash against Roger Federer was part of similar protests against US President Donald Trump.

A picture of the 22-year-old kneeling just before the start of the warm-up in Prague went viral on Twitter with many on social media assuming it was in support of American National Football League (NFL) players protesting racial inequality.

Trump said he wants players who kneel during the US national anthem to be fired.

"I'm doing that before most matches just to remember, you know, the two most important people that have passed away," said world No. 20 Kyrgios in reference to his late grandmother and grandfather.

"I just take a knee to remember those before I go out there and play."

And when prompted whether it had anything to do with the Trump protest, he offered a puzzled look: "F***, no. Serious?"

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.