Nick Kyrgios Indian Wells Masters 2022

Nick Kyrgios ‘not like Alexander Zverev’ after narrowly missing Indian Wells ball boy with thrown racket

After nearly striking a ball boy when throwing his racket, Nick Kyrgios has since apologised and gifted him a racket and said that the situation was “most definitely not like Alexander Zverev’s.”

Australian Open doubles victor Kyrgios lost himself to his emotions in his Indian Wells quarter-final defeat to 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal after launching rants at spectators and the chair umpire Carlos Bernardes, as well as narrowly missing a ball boy when throwing a racket.

As Nadal once again showed his resilience having beating Kyrgios 7-6 (7-0), 5-7, 6-4, Kyrgios smashed his racket into the hard court after the game and an unfortunate ricochet sent the stray racket hurtling directly towards an innocently by standing ball boy.

Whilst the ball boy luckily reacted quick enough to duck out of the way, the racket still narrowly zoomed past his head.

This comes just weeks after World number three Alexander Zverev was disqualified from the Mexican Open, received a $40,000 (£30,000) fine, lost all rankings points and prize money and is now subject to an eight-month suspended ban after he swung his racket at the chair umpire’s stand four times.

Kyrgios showed little remorse for his actions in his post-match press conference, saying “what would you like me to say about it? Obviously, was that my intention? No. Because I threw a racquet. Did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally?

“It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I’m human. Things happen like that. Obviously it was a very misfortunate bounce.

“I think if I did that a million times over it wouldn’t have gone that way. And what do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid.

“That’s a question you’re going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal. That’s what you come here with?

“He ducked. Jesus. All right. It was an accident. It was most definitely not like Zverev.

“I didn’t hit him, thankfully. It wasn’t my intention. So thankfully the ball kid’s okay. Great question, though. Unbelievable stuff.”

However, after calming down and reflecting on the danger of the situation, Krygios issued an apology via Instagram which read “Hey guys, I just wanna apologise to that ball kid at the end of the match!

“It was a complete accident and [I] was frustrated at the end of the match. My racket took a crazy bounce and was never my intention.

“If anyone knows who that ball kid is, send me a message and I will send a racket to him, I’m glad he’s OK.”

The two did manage to get in contact and Kyrgios will make amends for his actions by gifting the ball boy one of his rackets.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.