Greek Australian champion Nick Kyrgios today was knocked out of the US Open, going down to 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets in the first round, 6-3 6-4 6-0.
During the match, Kyrgios was in a foul mood from the onset, disagreeing with the chair umpire about having to walk his towel to the corners of the court instead of throwing it where he wanted.
My job is to come out here and play for the people, not walk back and forth between towels,” Kyrgios said to chair umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match.
“It’s not part of the game. So texting someone’s part of the game too? Taking 20-minute bathroom breaks is part of the game?”
Kyrgios’ bathroom comments were in response to Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas, who at key times during his win over Andy Murray today called for medical time outs and bathroom breaks.
In usual circumstances the ball kids are summoned by the player to run the towel over to them when they need it, but that is not allowed under current COVID-19 protocols, with players forced to do it themselves at specific points behind the baseline.
Kyrgios after the match clarified his point of view, insisting that because he’s fully vaccinated, it’s unfair he’s treated the same as players who aren’t.
“Look, the towel situation for me is incredibly stupid,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m one of the players on tour that is fully vaccinated. And as of now, I’m getting treated exactly the same as a player that is not vaccinated.
“I feel like if I want my towel around the court, if it’s not disturbing Bautista Agut’s vision, if he doesn’t see the towel, I don’t see anything wrong with having my towel on the side or on the ground. And it’s just absurd for me.”
Discussing his exit from the US Open, Kyrgios took nothing away from his Spanish opponent.
“I just got outplayed, to be honest,” Kyrgios said.”All credit to him; he’s a hell of a player. I had a breakpoint in the first set. Unfortunately, I didn’t take it, and little things like that can turn a match when you play a world-class player like Roberto.”