Australian tennis’s terrible two are at it again with Bernard Tomic withdrawing during a match because of “unbearable heat” and Nick Kyrgios giving a spectator a mouthful.
Tomic’s commitment to his sport will again come into question after lasting just the first set against American Donald Young in Acapulco.
He looked disinterested and lethargic at stages before withdrawing from the match after losing the set in a tiebreak.
Despite a relatively comfortable temperature of 27 degrees in Acapulco at the time, several reports quoted him as saying the heat was unbearable.
He sought no assistance from a trainer and did not appear hampered as he left the court.
Bizarrely, Tomic returned later in the evening to take part in a losing doubles match with Italian partner Paolo Lorenzi.
Tomic’s loss ruled out a second-round clash in Mexico with compatriot Kyrgios – who had some battles of his own on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT).
Initially bothered by an eye issue, Kyrgios then appeared to take umbrage with Dudi Sela’s fans before winning 3-6 6-3 6-3.
During the second set, he paused prior to a second serve before telling a spectator to “shut the f*** up”.
After the match, the veteran Israeli confronted Kyrgios as the umpire stepped in between the pair but the players appeared to resolve their differences with Sela patting Kyrgios on the shoulder and moving on.
Watch the incident below:
Kyrgios gestures to Sela fans after match, confrontation with Dudi ensues pic.twitter.com/HrcuOpf8zt
— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) March 1, 2017
For Tomic, it was a strange way to finish in the Mexican resort town where he’d made the final and played some of his best tennis just 12 months before.
It continues an ordinary start to the season for the former world No.17, who has lost three consecutive first-round matches.
He’s slid down the rankings to No.41 and, with the claycourt season ahead – where he’s consistently struggled – it is hard to see his situation improving in the short term.
Tomic has had a history of retiring from matches and pulled the pin during four ATP fixtures in 2016.
He also infamously holds the record for the fastest loss in ATP tournament history, going down to Finn Jarkko Nieminen in just 28 minutes in 2014.
Last week he received criticism for seemingly “tanking” during a match in the United States.
Watch that US performance here:
Bernard Tomic has turned in another lackluster performance in a three set loss to a Belgian qualifier. https://t.co/SHZwEfM4Ls
— #7TENNIS 🎾 (@7tennis) February 22, 2017
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic enjoyed a first up win, downing Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in his first match since a shock second-round loss in the Australian Open in January.
Victory in his next match paves the way for a possible quarter-final against Kyrgios.
Earlier, third-seeded Marin Cilic reached the second round with a 6-3 4-6 6-0 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Second seed Rafael Nadal beat Mischa Zverev 6-4 6-3.