Nick Kyrgios has been kicked out of the Italian Open and fined more than $30,000 following an on-court tantrum during his second-round match against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud.
Today, an Australian breakfast television show, when broadcasting this news, aired commentator Prue MacSween slamming Kyrgios as a “spoiled little Greek brat” who “should have been slapped as a child”.
“This guy should join the circus, he is a clown. He has no ability to handle pressure. He should have been slapped as a child. He is a spoilt little Greek brat, who is probably being treated like a prince and to have the heart to give character assassinations and appraisals of other key tennis player when this bloke hasn’t got a bone of character in his body. He is a little creep and I am sad to say that he is Australian,” she continued.
Today presenter Ben Fordham quickly rebutted MacSween’s statement, saying his actions on the court had nothing to with his Greek heritage.
“We all love Greeks,” Fordham continued to which MacSween responded “I also love Greeks, but I have to say Greeks do spoil their kids a bit.”
Viewers of the show, and many others have taken to social media to comment against the offensive remarks made by MacSween.
On twitter, one user stated that “@macsween_prue says Kyrgios should have been slapped as a child?? My god you are a nutcase. @TheTodayShow do you welcome such a comment?”, while another said “Prue MacSween just called Nick Kyrgios “a spoiled little Greek brat” on @TheTodayShow. Thank you @BenFordham for calling her out. The fact this (repeatedly racist and offensive) woman still has a platform on mainstream TV in Australia says it all.”
*Watch the video here, courtesy of TODAY:
The Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud was leading the match 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 2-1 at the time when Kyrgios, frustrated at losing a point on serve, received a warning for ball abuse. Later on in the game, after taking exception to movement in the stands during a rally and making his feelings known to the crowd, he was docked a point by the chair umpire for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Furious at the decision, the twenty-four year old smashed his racquet, kicked a water bottle and threw a fold-up wooden chair across the court, before picking up his bags and storming off.
Before leaving the court amid his temper tantrum, he shook hands with his opponent, Ruud and the chair umpire.
The world number 36 was fined $32,458 and forfeited $54,590 in prize money, as well as his 45 ATP rankings points earned at the tournament.
Nick later apologised on Instagram saying it was a “very eventful day to say to the least…Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default… Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe.”
Others have also criticised Kyrgios’ behaviour, with Tony Jones, Today Show sports presenter, calling him “an embarrassment to the sport and an embarrassment to himself”.
He further continued saying that he believes “this is the end for Nick Kyrgios, I can’t see him coming back from this.”
Roger Federer, world No. 3 in men’s singles tennis, does not believe Nick Kyrgios should be suspended from the ATP Tour despite his furious Italian Open outburst. “‘He walked off the court. What did he do? He hurt a chair? That’s not enough for me. I don’t know if he’s on probation or not from his Shanghai thing. If that’s the case, then obviously you can maybe look into it. If that’s run its course, I don’t think he should be suspended,” he stated.
Federer is referring to Kyrgios previous eight week suspension by the ATP Tour in 2016 at the Shanghai Masters, for ‘tanking’ a match and insulting fans during a loss, where he was also fined $32,000.