Sport The Kyrgios comments that will rock Aussie fans
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Nick Kyrgios has been praised for his new-found maturity this season and it looks like he's once again looked inwards to see where he can improve.
With Gilles Simon breathing down his neck towards the end of the third set of their second round clash, Kyrgios looked to have returned to his old ways, barking at his own players' box.
Kyrgios, who is understood to have requested everyone in his box to stand whenever he wins a point, took offence to being told to "stay tough" by someone in his box towards the end of the third set.
Kyrgios bemused by Zverev slam criticism
Top-ranked local hope Nick Kyrgios has played a straight bat to harsh comments from world No.7 Alexander Zverev on the eve of the Australian Open. Many thought Zverev may had struck a nerve when he believed Kyrgios wasn't consistent enough over five sets to be successful at grand slams.
"Absolutely flying colours. So creative. So creative. So creative. Out of all the things you could say: 'stay tough'," he said.
Kyrgios bemused by blunt Zverev criticism
Nick Kyrgios has played a straight bat to harsh comments from world No.7 Alexander Zverev on the eve of the Australian Open. Kyrgios will enter the tournament as Australia's top-ranked player in the men's draw following Alex de Minaur's injury-enforced withdrawal.But World No.7 Zverev, himself a grand slam under-achiever, shot down Kyrgios' prospects of securing a maiden grand slam just days out from the Open. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.
"Thanks, man. Thanks. That's what I get on every break point. Wow. Wow. Wow. 'Stay tough,' yep. That's good, that's good. Sh-t. Sh-t."
However, after the match, Kyrgios apologised for his erratic behaviour.
"I was being a bit of a d---head to them. I apologised as soon as I went back into the locker room," he said.
"They don't deserve that. They do a lot of things for me on and off the court.
"No, it's not acceptable from me. Nothing to do with them.
"I'm not even thinking about winning the Grand Slam at the moment. I just want to day by day get better on and off the court.
"My behavior towards my box tonight was not acceptable, one. In my next match, I don't want to do that.
"I'm not thinking about winning the Grand Slam. Like, that's not essential for me at this moment in time."
Kyrgios was able to hit the reset button to bounce back and score a 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory.
Kyrgios to use Rafa rivalry as motivation for Open run
"Every time they've played it's been close and going up against (Nadal) seems to bring the best out of Nick," says tennis legend John Newcombe.That's the view of Australian tennis icon John Newcombe, who believes Kyrgios "fancies his chances" against the Spanish superstar should they go head-to-head next week.
"I just put my head down," Kyrgios said.
"I lost my way a little bit in the third set. I put my head down, I told myself 'just cut the bulls--- and just get to work'.
"I got the break at five-all. It was a good feeling to get through that."
The 24-year-old Canberra native admitted it was the type of match he might have thrown away six or 12 months ago, but stopped short of attributing the turnaround to new-found maturity.
"I was 13 in the world ... I was all right 12 months ago. But, yeah, possibly," he said.
"I did come back from two sets to love down on that court four years ago ... but it could have gone to a dark place and I brought it back and I somehow scraped the win."
Kyrgios joins John Millman and Alexei Popyrin in the last 32 as the only remaining Aussies the men's draw and will next meet 16th seed Karen Khachanov.
He has a fiery history in his only previous clash with the Russian, a three-set loss at the Cincinnati Masters last August in which he was later fined for verballing abusing a chair umpire.
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