Saturday 29 April 2017

Kyrgios blasts back at McEnroe after Aussie exit

Nick Kyrgios. Photo: AFP/Getty
Nick Kyrgios. Photo: AFP/Getty

Evan Bartlett

Nick Kyrgios has responded angrily to John McEnroe's claim that he "stopped trying" during his Australian Open second round defeat to Italian Andreas Seppi.

The Australian was booed off by his home crowd after going down in five sets against a man 139 places below him in the rankings. During commentary, McEnroe - himself a seven-time Grand Slam winner - accused Kyrgios of letting down the sport.

"What I don't understand, what I can't accept, is when he stops trying. It's a black eye for the sport," McEnroe said as he watched the No 14 seed blow a two-set lead and a match point while appearing to show little interest in chasing the ball down.

When told about McEnroe's comments after the game, Kyrgios hit back and blamed injury for the defeat instead. "Well, my body was sore. I was hurting. I mean, John McEnroe, was it John McEnroe? Good on him. Great career. Good on him," Kyrgios said.

When asked if he had felt pain in his knee, referencing a long-standing injury, Kyrgios replied: "I don't know, mate. Ask Johnny Mac. He knows everything."

Kyrgios, who is currently without a head coach, was seen speaking to his team in the stands during the game, complaining about his conditioning. When pressed on what he was talking to them about, he responded:"Poor management, I guess," he said. "I think I didn't have the best preparation. It's on me. Did a couple things in the off-season that I'm probably not going to do next time. It's on me, I guess. My body's not in good enough shape."

Breezed

Andy Murray, meanwhile, breezed past Russia's Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-0 6-2 into the third round, while his compatriot Dan Evans shocked fifth seed Marin Cilic in four sets (3-6 7-5 6-3 6-3). However, Roger Federer felt 'disappointed' after scrapping his way to a 7-5 6-3 7-6 (7/3) victory over America's Noah Rubin.

Women's top seed Angelique Kerber revelled as fans sang her happy birthday but it was not all smiles against German compatriot Carina Witthoeft in round two. Kerber, who turned 29, had to dig deep for her 6-2 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 win.

Irish Independent

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