LONDON – Nick Kyrgios refused to apologise after the controversial Australian's foul-mouthed rant overshadowed his Queen's Club win against Kyle Edmund.
Kyrgios smashed 32 aces in a 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 second round victory at the Wimbledon warm-up on Thursday.
But it was the 23-year-old's verbal volleys that marred his progress to a first Queen's quarter-final.
The notoriously volatile Kyrgios said sorry to the crowd on one occasion after swearing in frustration, then aimed an x-rated outburst towards his coaching team in the courtside players' box.
Although Kyrgios escaped a code violation, the BBC, broadcasting the match live, were forced to apologise after his expletives were picked up by their microphones.
But Kyrgios, who has found himself in hot water for his petulant on-court behaviour on numerous occasions, was unrepentant when quizzed about the swearing.
“Fine. I don't care,” he said at a press conference when informed the BBC had issued an apology for his language.
When a reporter asked if he felt he needed to keep his emotions more under control, Kyrgios gave a surly reply.
“Do you swear? Yes or no? Yes or no? Do you swear? Do you swear?,” he said.
When the reporter replied that he had been known to, Kyrgios dismissively responded: “Okay, great. Good question.”
Kyrgios's latest outburst took the spotlight away from an impressive win against Edmund.
He had already spoiled Andy Murray's first appearance after 11 months on the sidelines with a hip injury when he beat the five-time Queen's winner in the first round on Tuesday.
With Wimbledon starting in just over a week, the unpredictable Kyrgios is beginning to get in the groove on grass.
Edmund had no answer to 11 aces in the first set, 13 in the second and eight in the third.
“I thought it was a pretty high-level match from both players. Obviously I served really, really well. I found my rhythm quite early,” Kyrgios said. “I feel pretty good. I haven't played a lot of matches in the last couple of months. So, I mean, when I'm serving out a match - you know, we have been playing for a couple hours and level has been pretty good. I got pretty tight. Yeah, apart from that, I'm always pretty relaxed. 32 aces helps.”
Asked how much of a threat he could be at Wimbledon, Kyrgios kept it simple - “Big one,” he said.
Kyrgios will play reigning Queen's champion Feliciano Lopez for a place in the semi-finals.
Later on Thursday, former world number one Novak Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov, who is bidding for a second Queen's title.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)