Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios said he was subject to a “racial slur” during his semi-final match against former World No. 1 Andy Murray at the BOSS Open in Stuttgart on Saturday. Kygios lost the semi-final 6-7 (5), 2-6 after a hard-fought first set battle against Murray, who has been showing glimpses of his vintage self in the grass-court season.
Nick Kyrgios earned a point penalty and a game penalty for smashing his racquet and venting out his frustration after losing a hard-fought first set. The Australian, who was constantly complaining to the umpire, then refused to continue playing, sitting in his chair until the supervisor came out and convinced him to finish the match.
Kyrgios was nowhere near the level he played in the first set as Murray made light work of the Australian in the second set and made it to the men’s singles final at the ATP 250 event.
Taking to Instagram after the match, Kyrgios revealed that he was racially abused by a fan at the crowd and he had retaliated after hearing the slur.
“When is this going to stop? Dealing with racial slurs from the crowd?” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram.
“I understand that my behaviour isn’t the best all the time – but ‘you little black sheep’, ‘shut up and play’ – little comments like this are not acceptable.
“When I retaliate to the crowd, I get penalised. This is messed up.”
MURRAY ON KYRGIOS REACTION
Murray, who will play his 70th tour-level final, this time against Matteo Berrettini, empathised with Kyrgios, who lost focus in the second set, making plenty of unforced errors.
In fact, it was Kyrgios who got the crowd going in the first set, coming up with his trademark under-arm serves and even tweeners.
“You’re always kind of battling yourself as well as the opponent, it’s one of the difficult things about individual sports,” Murray said.
“Nick has the potential to be one of the best players in the world, there’s absolutely no question about that. But yeah, he obviously got very frustrated in the second set and made it a lot easier for me.
“But look, I’m happy to be in the final. I’ve played well this week and I’ve got a great opportunity against Matteo tomorrow.”
Murray, who ie yet to drop a set in the tournament, will look to win his first title since Antwerp in 2019 and make a statement ahead of Wimbledon, starting later this month.