Nick Kyrgios became the scourge of the tennis world earlier this summer when a microphone caught him talking trash to Stan Wawrinka about his girlfriend in the middle of a match.
The exchange — in which Kyrgios alleged that Wawrinka’s girlfriend had cheated on him with 19-year-old Australian pro tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis — earned Kyrgios a $US10,000 fine.
If Kyrgios acts up in a similar manner again, he’ll earn an additional $US25,000 fine and a 28-day suspension.
Many expected Kyrgios, ranked no. 37 in the world, to be a main storyline throughout the US Open. Instead, he got draw with the red-hot Andy Murray in the first round and could face an early exit.
It’s a really tough break for Kyrgios, a reliably entertaining player on the court and a legitimately good one, too.
He’s been ranked as high as No. 25 in the world and made the quarterfinals at the Australian Open earlier this season, where he ultimately lost to Murray in straight sets.
Now it’s unlikely he’ll make it out of the first round, as Murray enters the US Open fresh off a victory over Novak Djokovic in the Rogers Cup final — Murray’s first win over the no. 1 player in the world in eight tries.
Kyrgios’s short time on tour has been rife with controversy. In the fourth round of Wimbledon this year, he clearly stopped trying for an entire return game — barely even attempting to return Richard Gasquet’s serves.
When Australian swim legend Dawn Fraser called out Kyrgios for his antics, Kyrgios hit back by calling her remarks “blatantly racist.”
Immediately following the incident at Wimbledon, Kyrgios imploded in the Darwin, Australia heat in a Davis Cup match against Kazakstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
“I don’t want to be here,” he exclaimed during the match, and wound up losing to Nedovyesov, a player who has never cracked the top 100.
These antics have earned Kyrgios an increasingly poor reputation on tour. Wawrinka lashed out against the young Australian on Twitter following the incident in Montreal, and although Kyrgios took to Facebook to apologise, Wawrinka immediately claimed that this was disingenuous and that he hadn’t apologised for real.
Considering all the drama that’s surrounding Kyrgios at the moment, conspiracy theorists will be quick to suggest that his first round tie with Murray is suspicious.
But the real reason Kyrgios drew Murray in the first round is because of the US Open’s draw configuration. The top 32 players in the world all earn seeds, and everyone below No. 32 gets randomly slotted into the draw. This means the No. 33 player in the world has an equal chance of playing the 32nd seed at they do the No. 1 seed. Kyrgios, by that same logic, could have earned a more favourable draw; instead he drew Murray, the third-ranked player in the world.
He’s not the only young up-and-comer that caught a tough break by the system, either. Borna Coric, the 18-year-old Serbian that has been pegged as the next Djokovic, will play Rafael Nadal.
Kokkinakis — of Wawrinka/Kyrgios infamy — will play Richard Gasquet.
With so many talented youngsters looking to break into the pro tennis circuit, it’s a bummer that so many will have such tough first round matches.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.