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Tennis Kyrgios apologizes for outburst after Indian Wells loss to Nadal

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open Day 11
March 17, 2022; Indian Wells, California, United States; Nick Kyrgios (AUS) is upset with the chair umpire for failing to tell the crowd to calm down during his quarterfinal match against Rafael Nadal (ESP) at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2022

(Reuters) – Australia’s Nick Kyrgios apologized for losing his temper and throwing his racquet on the ground, which then bounced and almost hit a ball boy, after his defeat by Rafa Nadal in Indian Wells.

The ball boy managed to duck out of the way and Kyrgios was then booed by some in the crowd after losing to Spain’s Nadal 7-6 (0) 5-7 6-4 on Thursday.

“I just want to apologize to this ball kid at the end of the game,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram. “It was a complete accident and I was frustrated by the end of the game.

“My racquet made a crazy bounce and was never my intention. If anyone knows who this ball kid is send me a message and I’ll send them a bat. I’m glad he’s doing well!”

Kyrgios tracked down the ball boy on social media, who https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios/status/1504667604195033095 accepted the apology, saying he was “perfectly fine” and looking forward to getting his hands on a racquet .

Kyrgios, 26, was initially defensive when asked about the incident after the game, berating a reporter for focusing on it after a blockbuster quarter-finals game.

“What can I say to that?” he said. “Obviously, was that my intention? No. Because I threw the bat. Did I originally throw the bat anywhere near him? It landed a meter off my foot, slipped and almost hit it.

“I’m human. Things like that happen. Obviously, it was a very unfortunate jump. I think if I’d done that a million times, it wouldn’t have happened that way.”

Nadal said last week the sport needed to impose tougher penalties to curb outbursts after Alexander Zverev was handed a year-long probation – but not an immediate suspension – after a temper tantrum in Acapulco.

The 24-year-old German Olympic gold medalist apologized after being fined for “unsportsmanlike conduct” after slamming his racket into the referee’s chair and verbally abusing him.

“Because these situations are becoming more and more common, ATP should probably review things and make decisions,” Nadal said after Thursday’s game.

“Not about today’s game because I didn’t see what happened at the end so I can’t have an opinion… I hope nothing bad happened because I (Kyrgios) wish the best.

“But when it’s bad, the ATP has to make decisions to avoid and stop it because sometimes, even if it’s very unfortunate or unfortunate, happens at the very moment something negative happens.”

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel and William Mallard)

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