Nick Kyrgios’ biggest headline moments with his long-term future in doubt

Queen’s: Nick Kyrgios RAGES over umpire’s decision

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Nick Kyrgios’ future is in doubt after he announced his decision to end his season and undergo a procedure to recover from a left knee injury that has bothered him for several months. The 26-year-old also recently dropped retirement hints while competing at the Laver Cup, admitting he didn’t know how much longer he would be on tour, but has made it clear he is hoping to be back for next year’s Australian Open.

The often-controversial Aussie has always been a big figure on the tour, with his antics often getting him attention, for better or worse.

Kyrgios has barely played since the pandemic began last year, with his first tournament since February 2020 coming a year later during the postponed Australian hard court summer.

And he has played just five tournaments since – retiring after getting injured during his Wimbledon third-round, and earning just one win in four tournaments during the North American hard court swing before he joined Team World for the fourth year at the Laver Cup, losing to Team Europe once again in the Ryder Cup-style event.

He has now announced his decision to shut down his 2021 season, writing on his Instagram story: “Hey guys, over the last couple of months I haven’t been near 100% healthy.I’ve been dealing with left knee patella tendonopothy and continuing to play without fully treating it can lead to further pain and greater setbacks.

“I’ve chosen to fly back to Australia to re assess and am planning to get PRP treatment to settle down and rehab my knee.”

The six-time title winner’s long-term future in tennis now hangs in the balance, as he battles an injury and has already admitted he has no plans for a lengthy career, saying at the Laver Cup: “As long as I’m on the court, I will try and give my best, but I’m not going to lie and say that I’m going to plan to play four or five more years on tour – that’s just not me.”

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Whenever the time does come for Kyrgios to hang up his racket, he will be sorely missed by many tennis fans who are drawn to his on-court antics and outbursts that always get people talking, whether it’s praise or criticism.

With the Australian battling an injury and preparing to undergo treatment, Express Sport looks back on some of Kyrgios’ most memorable moments on court, from hilarious interactions to raging arguments.

‘Sorry to tell you that’ – 2015 Montreal Masters

One of Kyrgios’ worst on-court remarks came at the National Bank Open – then known as the Rogers Cup – when he faced then-world No 5 Stan Wawrinka in the second-round and the on-court microphone picked up the Aussie telling his opponent: “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that mate,” referring to Wawrinka’s then-girlfriend Donna Vekic and fellow Australian player Thanasi Kokkinakis.

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Kyrgios implied he was provoked by Wawrinka who he said was “getting a bit lippy”, and admitted his comment was said “kind of in the heat of the moment” while the Swiss tennis star took to Twitter to say: “What was said I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. To stoop so low is not only unacceptable but also beyond belief.”

Eight-week suspension – 2016 Shanghai Masters

Kyrgios was suspended from the tour for eight weeks over his second-round match against Mischa Zverev, during which he was accused of giving up and also clashed verbally with a spectator.

The former world No 13 wandered off court mid-rally and patted down tame serves multiple times, and told a spectator who asked him to respect the game: “You wanna come here and play? Sit down and shut up and watch.”

He was initially fined $16,500 by the ATP, later receiving an additional $25,000 and suspended for the rest of the season, though had this reduced after seeking psychological help.

Water bottle incident – 2018 Queens Club

Kyrgios was fined $17,500 after making an X-rated gesture with a water bottle during his semi-final against Marin Cilic.

TV cameras picked the then-world No 19 up and fined him, and he accepted his mistake though said he thought the fine was excessive in comparison to the $7,000 Denis Shapovalov was fined for unintentionally hitting an umpire in the eye with a ball back in 2017.

Underarm serves and jet skis – 2019 Mexican Open

The Australian captured his fifth ATP Tour title in Acapulco after a crazy week that saw him controversially bring the underarm serve shot to the forefront of tennis debate, hitting the serve in his match against Nadal – with the Spaniard famously favouring a return position far behind the baseline.

He beat an exceptionally impressive run of players to capture the title including Nadal, Wawrinka, Isner and Zverev, and admitted that he spent the week partying and went jet skiing ahead of his final match against the second seed.

Defaulted in Rome rage – 2019 Italian Open

Kyrgios found himself defaulted from his second-round match against Caper Ruud after an outburst that already saw him receive a game penalty, and ultimately lost his €33,635 prize money as well as being fined €20,000.

The then-24-year-old was able to level the match at one-set-all, having lost the opener, but received a game penalty after Ruud broke back for 1-1 in the third, having apparently sworn at a line judge.

It sparked an outburst from the Australian that saw him throw his racket, kick a water bottle and throw a chair into the court, and Kyrgios said he was “done”, packing his bag and leaving as the referee was called to court to default him.

The Washington crowd favourite – 2019 Citi Open

The Australian’s sixth and most recent title came at the ATP 500 in Washington two years ago, during a tournament where he won the crowd over with his unique tactic of asking a member of the crowd where he should serve when he was match point up in several rounds, often hitting an ace using their recommendation and celebrating with the spectator.

Kyrgios also made fans laugh when he was facing Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals – having entered the doubles with the Greek star in Washington – and delivered his opponent a fresh pair of shoes after his broke mid-match, getting down one one knee and bowing his head as if he was serving royalty.

To make matters more entertaining, the current world No 96 was down to just one racket on the eve of his final against Medvedev after his dad had sent five more from his home in Australia, which were stuck in customs at a FedEx distribution centre that was closed on Sundays.

The eventual champion alerted tournament director Mark Ein to his issue, and Ein got some help from a special contact at FedEx, ensuring the rackets were delivered in time for Kyrgios to win the final and lift the title.

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