‘He’s an absolute knob’ – Top doubles pro blasts Nick Kyrgios for Australian Open antics
Doubles world number 15 Michael Venus has taken fire at Nick Kyrgios after the Aussie whipped the Australian Open crowd into a frenzy during their quarter-final showdown.
Alongside friend and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, Kyrgios has overcome three successive seeded pairs in the men’s doubles to reach the semi-finals.
The duo upset the world number one pairing of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the second round before the 15th seeds of Gonzalo Escobar and Ariel Behar ahead of defeating Puetz and Venus.
Unhappy with how the match was played, Venus did not hold back in condemning Kyrgios.
“They’ll always be his supporters and he’ll always spin it in a way that helps him but at the end of the day, he’s just an absolute knob,” the New-Zealander told home news channel 1News.
“On the maturity side, you see why he’s never fulfilled his potential and probably never will.
“His maturity level, it’s probably being generous to a 10-year-old, to say it’s at about that level.
“It felt like a circus out there and not really a tennis match.”
The atmosphere at all of Kyrgios’ Australian Open matches this year has been electric and at times inhospitable, in both singles and doubles.
Not one to shy away from attention and crowd interaction, Kyrgios has actively encouraged crowds to be boisterous, something Venus did not appreciate.
“Between serves, geeing the crowd up and getting them to cheer at times like that.
“I don’t think that’s really on.
“You know if it’s on the other foot, [Kyrgios] would have flipped his lid. He already did get mad there by himself.”
Venus even called out Kyrgios for an incident where an unnecessarily struck smash hit a young fan in the stands.
“It’s amazing, he can smash a ball out that hits a kid and just because he gives them a racket afterwards people can say he’s such a good guy,” Venus said of the occurrence.
On the other side of the argument, three-time Australian Open doubles champion and Aussie native Todd Woodbridge defended Kyrgios’ actions,
“We’ve been missing the opportunity to get out and express ourselves!” Woodbridge said on Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis take on Wimbledon finalists and third seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers next for a place in the Australian Open doubles final.
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