London: Nick Kyrgios aimed a verbal volley at his critics after the Australian survived a warning for bad language and a third set sulk to win an explosive clash with Dustin Brown at Wimbledon on Friday.
Kyrgios, seeded 15th, has earned a reputation as one of the most volatile players on the men's tour after a series of distasteful antics, including briefly appearing to stop trying during his Wimbledon defeat against Richard Gasquet last year.
The temperamental Australian has been equally petulant on his return to the All England Club.
Kyrgios was warned for bad language following a foul-mouthed rant during his first round win over Radek Stepanek and he was at it again as he fought back to defeat German wildcard Brown 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.
The 21-year-old, who famously shocked Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals two years ago, spent most of the match ranting, drawing a code violation for an audible obscenity and appearing to give minimal effort in protest as he sulked his way through the third set.
Despite his stroppy antics, Kyrgios advanced to play Spanish 22nd seed Feliciano Lopez for a place in the last 16.
But Kyrgios found himself under fire from reporters who questioned whether his behaviour was distracting for opponents.
Coming at the end of a press conference in which he was repeatedly grilled over his attitude, Kyrgios had finally had enough and turned on his audience.
"What did I say to the umpire today? Is that bad language? Have you never said a swear word in your life?" Kyrgios asked his interrogator.
"Can you answer my question? So you've never sworn in your life?" , he asked.
Quizzed again about whether he used foul language, Kyrios continued: "I didn't swear. So how is that going to affect another player by saying 'horrendous job'? I think you can figure that out, champ.
"Did you see Dustin arguing with the umpire as well? Did anyone see that? Did you see Dustin arguing with him, too, or just me?"
Infuriated by the direction of the questions, Kyrgios pointed towards one reporter, saying: "Great questions, guys. You got a question? Okay, good", then made his exit.
Kyrgios found support from Brown, who insisted the Australian had been given a raw deal by the officials and should he allowed to mature without being prodded by the media.
"Obviously here and there we both thought that the ref didn't do a good job. The one ball that Nick got definitely didn't bounce twice," Brown said.
"There was no problem between me and him. As you saw when the match was finished, there was no issue,"
"It's the same thing back in the day when (John) McEnroe was playing. You knew exactly what you were going to get. He could go nuts or whatever,"
"I'm pretty sure everyone knows Nick is a great tennis player. All of us have gotten upset on the court for bad calls, especially in certain moments,"
"The guy is 21. Let the guy play tennis. I'm pretty sure in a few years, he will also have that sorted and then he's probably going to be even better." he said.
First Published On : Jul 2, 2016 13:32 IST