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Australia

Australian hothead Nick Kyrgios says he’s ‘sick of this place’ and storms off court at Shanghai Masters

The 22-year-old abruptly calls it quits while trailing American Steve Johnson in his opening match

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 October, 2017, 7:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 October, 2017, 7:44pm

Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios stormed off court to loud boos midway through his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday, two days after his China Open final meltdown.

The 22-year-old fumed that he was “sick of this place” and then abruptly called it quits immediately after losing the first set in a tie break to American Steve Johnson, having been docked a point for the second match running.

On Sunday, Kyrgios was similarly hit with a point penalty and had a running row with the umpire in losing the final in Beijing to Rafael Nadal.

A member of Kyrgios’ coaching team said the world number 21 had injured his shoulder and the temperamental Australian did look in discomfort early on in the match against the unseeded Johnson.

Kyrgios seemed untroubled however by the injury when they entered the first-set tie break, but like in the final in Beijing, his temper soon got the better of him after he was angered by the unsettled crowd and the umpire.

Johnson, the umpire and the spectators on the outside hard court looked on in stunned disbelief when Kyrgios decided enough was enough.

He had begun the match on his best behaviour but showed a first flash of irritation towards the end of the set, blasting a ball out of the court after a video replay vindicated him following a bad line call.

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He and Johnson were both comfortable on their serves and they went into the tie break with signs Kyrgios was beginning to lose his cool.

It quickly boiled over when he was irked by spectators in the close-knit arena getting up during the tie break. “What’s happening here?” he asked, before muttering: “Exactly why I shouldn’t come here.”

Kyrgios appeared to blame the umpire for failing to get the spectators in line and his afternoon spiralled fast when he received a point penalty.

“What is he doing? Is this normal?” Kyrgios asked somebody in the official area of the arena, where spectators and players are in close proximity. “Poor officiating again,” Kyrgios then complained, and added: “Sick of this place.”

Johnson then wrapped up the set and Kyrgios decided he’d had enough, shaking the hands of his opponent and the umpire, packing his bag and leaving.

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It is just the latest on-court controversy for Kyrgios, whose undoubted talent has often been betrayed by his quick-fire temper.

He hit a low point in Shanghai a year ago when he similarly left the court to jeers, having rowed with the crowd and appearing to give up in his match against Germany’s Mischa Zverev. Kyrgios was consequently suspended and could again face action from tennis authorities.