NEW YORK – Always in the midst of awkward situations on the tennis court, Nick Kyrgios has outdone himself this time. In Sunday’s Round of 16 match at the US Open against top seed Daniil Medvedev, he lost a crucial point in perhaps the most careless of ways.
At 30-all in the second half of the third set, it looked like Kyrgios would get a break point and a chance to take the lead in the match. In fact, Kyrgios had just the breaking point when his passing shot flew straight into the air from Medvedev’s racket.
The ball was not going over the net, but for some reason Kyrgios sprinted alongside Medvedev from the field to shoot the ball out of the air before it rebounded.
Opinion:With Serena knocked out of the US Open, Coco Gauff arrives – and looks ready to win it all
This, to put it mildly, is against the rules of tennis. Players cannot reach through the net to the opponent’s side of the field to hit the ball from the air, let alone put their entire body there. The chair umpire immediately awarded the point to Medvedev, but the confusing part was that Kyrgios apparently didn’t know he couldn’t do it. After the exchange, he mentioned to ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe who was sitting on the field that he didn’t know it was against the rules.
It’s hard to believe that Kyrgios, who has been playing tennis pretty much his whole life and reached this year’s Wimbledon final, didn’t know. But whether it was just an instinct to show off visitors or true ignorance, it made no sense. All Kyrgios had to do was let the ball bounce and he would have won the point.
Brad Gilbert, also a longtime ESPN and ATP Tour player, immediately tweeted that he had never seen anything like this on a tennis court.
Kyrgios is no stranger to antics on the court, including frequent racquet smashing and scolding fans in his training box. He is also known to be fond of trick shots such as going between his legs or armpits. But he never did anything reckless at a crucial moment.
In the end, Kyrios didn’t cost much. Although Medvedev continued to serve 1-1, Kyrgios broke shortly thereafter and closed the third set, 6-3 before rolling in the fourth set, 6-2, to advance to the quarter-finals.
“Devoted travel trailblazer. Freelance beer scholar. Passionate analyst. Hardcore twitter fanatic.”