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Kyrgios riles Wawrinka with jibe about girlfriend

Stan Wawrinka has urged tennis authorities to clamp down on the antics of Nick Kyrgios.a(30).
Stan Wawrinka has urged tennis authorities to clamp down on the antics of Nick Kyrgios.a(30). bnpparibasmasters.com

Stan Wawrinka is considered as one of the nice guys of the tour. The 30-year-old Swiss has won two grand slam titles at the Australian and French Open. Nick Kyrgios is new to the circuit but has been anointed as one of the sport's future stars. According to Wawrinka, the tyro needs a few lessons in etiquette.

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The testosterone pumped world of men's tennis exploded into the public arena on Thursday after Wawrinka demanded action against Kyrgios.

The two clashed during their third round match at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Wednesday night.

On-court microphones picked up a remark about Wawrinka's girlfriend by the 20-year-old Australian during a changeover.

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Kyrgios said that the woman had been sexually involved with his friend Thanasi Kokkinakis. "Sorry to tell you that mate," Kyrgios is heard to say.

Wawrinka said on Thursday that the comments were beyond belief. He added: "There is no need for this kind of behaviour on or off the court and I hope the governing body of this sport does not stand for this and stands up for the integrity of this sport that we have worked so hard to build. So disappointing to see a fellow athlete and colleague be so disrespectful in a way I could never even imagine."

Kyrgios advanced to the fourth round at the tournament after Wawrinka withdrew in the final set with a back injury.

Wawrinka, who has been linked with the Croatian player Donna Vevic, said the Association of Tennis Professionals should take action against Kyrgios.

"It's not the first time that he has big problems on court in terms of what he says and in terms of how he acts. I hope the governing body does not stand for this."

Kyrgios is one of the big prospects of tennis. With his mooody, bad boy looks and all-action game, he's tipped by observers to reach the top order of the sport. His Twitter motto is "Play Your Own Rules". But he has fallen foul of the authorities and the public on a couple of occasions.

At Wimbledon, Kyrgios was jeered by some sections of the crowd as he apparently did not bother to compete for a game in the second set of his fourth-round defeat by Richard Gasquet. He also had problems with chair umpires on occasion during the fortnight.

Kyrgios defended his flare-up with Wawrinka after the match.

"He was getting a bit lippy with me. Kind of in the heat of the moment, I don't know, I just said it," said the Australian.

Wawrinka's coach Magnus Norman, said in a tweet: "That was really really low Nick Kyrgios. Hope for u that u have people around that will teach u a thing or 2 about life tonight. Very bad??"

Wawrinka, who beat the world number one Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros final in June, said that he was not planning to comment further on the incident. "It will stay in the locker room. But there are things, regardless of how you are, regardless of the stress you have on the court, there are things you just can't say. And regardless of whether he sidesteps it, I think the way he behaves on court he has big problems.

"Every match he has problems. Every match he behaves very badly. On top of that the problem is that he doesn't just behave badly towards himself he behaves badly toward the people around, the other players, the ball kids, the umpires.

"I really hope the ATP will take major action against him this time."

Over the past decade, the leading stars have perfected their individual images while highlighting the importance of sportsmanship and respect. It was an order enforced by the then world number one Roger Federer and then underlined as Rafael Nadal rose and eventually supplanted the Swiss as the head honcho of men's game. Even though they had epic battles on court, animosity never punctuated their encounters. Djokovic, a fierce competitor, is sportmanship incarnated, often congratulating opponents on good passages of play.

However Kyrgios, and his compatriot Kokkinakis are in the vanguard of a generation where aggression underpins their game.

Nadal commented on the tactics of the new crop following a match in the opening rounds of this year's Roland Garros against 18-year-old Quentin Halys. "When you want to take a risk on every single ball, the mistakes are there;" said Nadal of the Frenchman. "But tennis is moving that way. Young players on the tour are moving to hit the ball stronger and quicker, going for winners all the time. When Halys wants to play like this and the balls land in, there’s nothing I can do.”

It appears subtlety may be on the way out - on and off the court.

 

 

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