Nick Kyrgios delivered a brutal parting shot at a Croatian doubles pair and their staff after it was alleged one of their coaches attempted to fight the enigmatic Aussie star after their shock defeat.
Kyrgios and best mate Thanasi Kokkinakis sensationally knocked out Australian Open no.1 seeded doubles pairing Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic on Friday night in front of a raucous Melbourne crowd.
Following the match, the tennis bad boy claimed on Twitter the Croatian team’s crew threatened to fight the pair, apparently because Kyrgios hit them with a ball.
Following their latest victory over Gonzalo Escobar and Ariel Behar on Sunday, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis were asked to comment on the altercation, with the aforementioned offering a final taunt to the departing Croatians.
‘Enjoy your flight home,’ Kyrgios said as the two burst into laughter.
Kokkinakis explained what happened during the incident, saying he and Kyrgios didn’t mean any disrespect by their antics but had been approached by Pavić’s ‘aggressive’ trainer in the gym.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured with Thanasi Kokkinakis on Sunday) told the Croatian doubles pair and their staff to ‘enjoy their flight home’ after a coach threatened to fight him after a match
‘It was pretty funny, I’m not going to lie,’ he explained, saying he expected the pair to ‘handle losing a little better’.
‘Me and Nick were trying to be professionals so we went into the gym after our doubles match for maybe one of the first times ever.
‘I’m going to be honest, it was Pavić’s fitness trainer, he came up and smashed a foam roller against a pole as hard as he could.
‘I thought he was kind of joking, I wasn’t sure if he was about to berate his players.
‘He came up to Nick and said we were being disrespectful; Nick hit an opponent with a ball but that’s normal, these doubles players have got unbelievable hands so you have to go at them.’
He went on to explain the Croatian team accused them of ‘showboating’ in front of the excited home crowd, but he disagreed, saying if they’d been playing in Croatia it would likely have been the other way around – accusing them of being sore losers.
Nick Kyrgios and fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated world No.1 pair Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic in straight sets on Friday night (pictured) – but the win was not well received by the Croatians’ team
CCTV footage from the tunnels in John Cain Arena show Kyrgios, Kokkinakis and the Croatians’ team engaged in a heavy debate following their shock win, which allegedly led to a member of their coaching staff threatening to fight the Aussie pair.
Kokkinakis saw the lighter side of the incident, saying he expected more of the world’s best doubles team.
‘It was just our energy and I think at the end of the day they were a bit salty they lost,’ he said.
‘They’ve won their fair share of tournaments so I don’t know, I though they’d handle losing a little better than that.
‘At the end of the day we’re just trying to entertain the crowd, we didn’t mean anything disrespectful, we’re just trying to get the crowd and ourselves up. It was a little aggressive on his part though for sure.’
Kyrgios (pictured with Thanasi Kokkinakis in Sunday’s match) first revealed the stoush through his Twitter account on Saturday morning, sharing some of the details in a series of short posts before the pair explained at length on Sunday
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are seen shaking hands with first seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic after their shock win on Friday night
This was when Kyrgios couldn’t help but take a final crack at their opponents before they left the country.
‘Enjoy your flight home,’ he said as he elbowed Kokkinakis and the pair continued to laugh as another reporter asked a question.
Kyrgios first revealed the stoush through his Twitter account on Saturday morning, sharing some of the details in a series of short posts.
‘Just letting you know after yesterday’s chop fest in doubles my opponents coach and trainer proceeded to threaten to fight in the players’ gym,’ he said.
Kyrgios claimed his opponents’ trainer threatened to fight him after Friday’s match (pictured with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi)
Following the match, the tennis bad boy claimed on Twitter that tensions rose between him and the Croatian team’s crew, apparently because Kyrgios hit them with a ball
‘Tennis is a soft soft sport, all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball.’
Kokkinakis responded with laughing emojis, tweeting: ‘That was crazy!! Mans thought it was UFC’.
Former player and now commentator Sam Groth said Kokkinakis had spoken to him about the bizarre encounter.
‘Thanasi actually messaged me as it was happening and said Nick got accosted in the locker room by Pavic’s fitness trainer and (they) obviously weren’t very happy,’ Groth told Channel Nine.
‘They’re the number one team in the world, the number one seeds going down against Thanasi and Nick.
‘They didn’t accept what was going on with the crowd, didn’t accept what was going on with Nick and I think it’s a little bit soft.
Kyrgios even took a sip out of a fan’s beer after the win as the best mates celebrated with the raucous crowd
‘To take it off the court into the locker room, and not even from the players. From someone from the team, it’s not necessary.’
The match was played at Kia Arena and unlike Rod Laver, there was no 50 per cent capacity restrictions.
The crowd became increasingly rowdier on Friday night with one man even performing a ‘shoey’ with his beer mid game.
The Croatian rivals were not impressed with the spectator’s behaviour.
‘It’s loud. They are pretty loud. Obviously they cheer for Aussies,’ Pavic said afterwards.
‘It wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect to all opponents, to other players.’