LONDON – Hot-tempered Australian Nick Kyrgios accused a line judge in his first-round match at Queen’s of “match-rigging” in a typically incident-packed performance on Thursday.
The 24-year-old let rip even after he had been given a code violation by the umpire Fergus Murphy for querying a line call on a set point in his match with Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain.
Kyrgios, who was disqualified from the Italian Open last month for throwing a chair across court amid a foul-mouthed rant, would not let the call lie and threatened to walk off the court.
“The ball was this far out on the second serve. I’m going,” he said.
“I’m not going to give 100 percent when I’ve got linesmen rigging the game; I don’t want to play.”
Kyrgios, who has previously been fined for not trying, appeared to lose interest in the match at times, peering over the fence to watch another match.
He also tried to fist-pump with another line judge and then mocked Murphy’s choice of hat.
“It’s a joke, man. It’s a serious joke,” he said. “Like your hat looks ridiculous, also. It’s not even sunny.”
Despite all the distractions, Kyrgios beat the Spaniard 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 to set up a second-round tie also on Thursday against Canadian rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime.