Aussie tennis firebrand Nick Kyrgios has once again found himself in hot water — this time being criticised for undermining countryman Alex de Minaur’s victory over Novak Djokovic at the United Cup on Wednesday night.
De Minaur toppled Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 to secure his first-ever win over the world No.1 while recording the biggest win of his career.
Djokovic has been battling a wrist complaint throughout his United Cup campaign with Team Serbia, with Kyrgios claiming the root cause to be the ATP’s equipment rules.
As it stands, different tour events use different types of tennis balls that conform to their own size and weight requirements.
Kyrgios expressed his frustration with the inconsistency of the rules, linking the “problem” to Djokovic’s injury.
“Change of balls every week finally got to Novak’s wrist,” he wrote on X during Wednesday’s match.
“The ATP really need to do something about this problem. Players suffer all the time.”
Kyrgios’ comments soon triggered severe criticism from tennis fans for supposedly diminishing de Minaur’s achievement.
He soon responded on X, stating that he in no way intended to detract from de Minaur’s performance before describing those who dismissed the debate around tennis balls as “potatoes”.
“Ok for the noobs that think I’m taking credit away from Alex are just plain dumb. Demon is a hell of a player and deserves every success that comes his way,” he wrote.
“Also, for the people who think balls aren’t a big enough factor to result in an athlete being hurt are potatoes. The load through a player’s elbow, [and] wrist over this vigorous season is enormous.”
Kyrgios will not feature at the upcoming Australian Open because of injury.