‘You’ll never have her’: Kyrgios’ ‘surreal’ Bouchard gag
NICK Kyrgios' second round US Open match was slipping from his grasp as he trailed Frenchman Pierre Hughes Herbert a set and a break midway through the second set on Friday morning.
But he never loses his sense of humour.
Showing questionable effort in a match he'd eventually turn around and win in four sets after a bizarre pep talk from the chair umpire, Kyrgios was reportedly targeted by a heckler who wanted him to "just leave" because female star Eugenie Bouchard was next up on court 17.
It led to this exchange, which Sports Illustrated's Daniel Rapaport described as "surreal".
Surreal exchange:— Daniel Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) August 30, 2018
Heckler tells Kyrgios “just leave, we want Genie” Bouchard, who’s up next on Court 17.
Kyrgios responds: “Well, you’ll never have her.”
Kyrgios, who played mixed doubles with Bouchard a few years back, stayed ready to bite back at any slight despite setting up a third-round match with Roger Federer with a 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-0 win that created headlines because of the intervention of Swedish official Mohamed Lahyani.
Kyrgios was trailing 3-0 in the second set, having thrown away the first on a wild second-serve double-fault, when Lahyani left his chair to beg the Australian to start trying for the sake of the paying crowd and to avoid being sanctioned - again - for not giving his best effort.
"I want to help you. I want to help you," Lahyani said. "I've seen your matches: you're great for tennis. Nick, I know this is not you."
It had several of Kyrgios' adversaries up in arms.
New York Times tennis correspondent Ben Rothenberg, who has been feuding with Kyrgios on Twitter this week, wanted the umpire immediately pulled from the match.
And Donna Vekic - the female player made famous by the Aussie's "Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend" sledge at Stan Wawrinka - also chimed in on Twitter.
"Didn't know umpires were allowed to give pep talks," Vekic wrote.
Kyrgios shot back after his match was finished. "Haha IRONIC coming from someone who gets on court coaching every week of the year and also out of the US Open," he responded.
But perhaps Kyrgios changed his tune when he'd cooled down, because he later deleted the tweet.
Federer set-up a mouthwatering clash with his own win against a Frenchman, a 7-5 6-4 6-4 triumph against Benoit Paire.
The second seed will take a 2-1 career lead over the combustible Kyrgios into their Sunday (AEST) duel but all three of the pair's encounters on the ATP Tour have gone to three sets.
The Swiss star defeated Kyrgios on grass in the Stuttgart final in June after also winning in the Miami semi-finals in 2017.
Kyrgios had stunned the 20-time major winner in their first meeting in Madrid in 2015.
- with AAP