‘Got no respect’: Kyrgios denies ‘plain dumb’ accusation of undermining de Minaur win after whacking ATP
Nick Kyrgios has been accused of undermining Alex de Minaur’s stunning win over Novak Djokovic at the United Cup, after the controversial tennis star slammed the ATP’s controversial ball rules.
Djokovic complained of a wrist injury throughout the world No.1’s 6-4, 6-4 loss, which saw Australia defeat Serbia and progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.
While the injury is unlikely to jeopardise the ten-time champion’s participation in the upcoming Australian Open, it is nevertheless an unwelcome distraction less than a fortnight out from the year’s first grand slam, especially paired with his first loss on these shores in nearly six years.
Kyrgios took to X to blame the ATP for its inconsistent ball rules for Djokovic’s injury, amid a series of complaints from players regarding different tour events using different types of tennis balls.
The 28-year old, who will miss the Australian Open due to a wrist injury of his own, said the ATP ‘really need to do something about this problem’.
“Change of balls every week finally got to novaks wrist,” Kyrgios wrote midway through the match.
“The atp really need to do something about this problem. Players suffer all the time.”
However, Kyrgios was quickly accused of diverting attention away from de Minaur’s performance in favour of excusing Djokovic.
Kyrgios returned shortly after to defend his comments, describing detractors as ‘noobs’ and those dismissive of the ball problems as ‘potatoes’.
“Ok for the noobs that think I’m taking credit away from Alex are just plain dumb. Demon is a hell of a player and deserves every success that comes his way,” Kyrgios wrote.
“Also, for the people who think balls aren’t a big enough factor to result in an athlete being hurt are potato’s. The load through a players elbow, wrist over this vigorous season is enormous.”
De Minaur’s upset win ends Djokovic’s remarkable 43-match winning streak in Australia, with a host of tennis greats praising the 24-year old’s scintillating play.
He remarkably lost just one point behind his first serve for the match.
“The way he was able to dominate in the serve was jaw-dropping,” former Australian Open champion Jim Courier said on Nine.
“To keep Novak off balance with drop shots and slices and topspin lobs and looping shots…. he just didn’t give Novak any rhythm and Novak responded with a lot of unforced errors. He was frustrated, there’s no doubt about it.
“A little bit injured, it seems – [but] not enough to affect the speed of his shots. This was a well-earned big time victory for the Demon.”
Team Australia will head to Sydney to await the winner of Greece and Germany in Saturday night’s semi-final.