Sport Tennis US Open Tennis: Nick Kyrgios out of US Open in dramatic first round loss to John Millman
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US Open Tennis: Nick Kyrgios out of US Open in dramatic first round loss to John Millman

US Open John Millman Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios' loss was John Millman's gain in a dramatic first round encounter. Photo: Getty
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Nick Kyrgios claimed he had no devotion to tennis and probably never would after completing a “diabolical” grand slam season with a drama-charged first-round US Open defeat.

Kyrgios complained of a “dead” shoulder during his 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-1 loss to fellow Australian John Millman before revealing far deeper concerns during an extraordinary post-match press conference.

Early on, Kyrgios repeatedly berated his courtside box for apparently not being vocal enough in their support of him and one point smashed a racquet in frustration.

But that proved the least of his concerns when, first, his shoulder began to fail him and then officials turned on him.

Shattered by his latest flop, the tempestuous talent admitted his coach deserved better when asked if he would continue working with Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean beyond the Open.

“I don’t know, honestly. I’m not good enough for him,” the world No.17 said.

“He’s very dedicated. He’s an unbelievable coach. He probably deserves a player that is probably more dedicated to the game than I am. He deserves a better athlete than me.

“I’m not dedicated to the game at all.

“He’s helped me a lot, especially with the training, in training sessions, but there are players out there that are more dedicated, that want to get better, that strive to get better every day, (do the) the one-percenters. I’m not that guy.”

Australian teenager Alex De Minaur earlier suffered a brutal first-round defeat to Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem.

The 18-year-old wildcard won only two of the last 16 games in a 6-4 6-1 6-1 loss. 

Resuming their rain-interrupted first-round encounter, Thiem needed just 20 minutes to clean up De Minaur after leading 6-4 6-1 1-0 overnight.

Kyrgios must have felt the world was against him when umpire Carlos Ramos issued a code violation against him after a linesman reported the 22-year-old swearing.

Strictly, he did but the penalty seemed farcically harsh, with Kyrgios merely remonstrating with himself in exasperation on his way to a changeover.

“I didn’t swear. You can’t give me a code. You don’t even know what I said,” Kyrgios said.

Ramos said he believed Kyrgios.

“But I need to believe him too,” the umpire said of the linesman. “I cannot repeat what he said you said.”

“Man, this is ridiculous. What is this? This is a joke,” Kyrgios added before going on to drop serve again to hand Millman a two-sets-to-one advantage.

With full power, Kyrgios promptly obliterated his racquet, drawing a second code violation and a mandatory point penalty to start the fourth set.

After winning an unprecedented 20 from 20 matches against lower-ranked or unseeded rivals at grand slams, Kyrgios has since suffered upset losses at five straight majors.

His troubles have coincided with the surfacing of a hip injury at last year’s US Open when he retired mid-match in the third round before the same issue forced him to abandon his Wimbledon campaign.

Kyrgios said his latest shoulder problem, which first emerged early in the third set against Millman, came out of the blue.

“I have had a diabolical year at these slams. It doesn’t surprise me,” he said.

“It’s just the story of my career, really. I will have good weeks; I’ll have bad weeks. It’s just a roller-coaster.”

Millman described his win as “a victory, but a hollow victory”.

“I know in the back on my mind his shoulder deteriorated at the match went on,” he said.

“He’s a teammate. I feel for him. I really do.”

Kyrgios enjoyed one of his best weeks a fortnight ago when he reached his first Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati.

Now he feels exasperated.

“In Cincinnati, I was not doing anything different. I was probably less dedicated than I was this week,” Kyrgios said.

“I was playing basketball at Lifetime Fitness every day for two hours. Like I played an hour of basketball before I played David Ferrer in the semi-final.

“I was going to ice cream, like this Graeter’s place getting a milkshake every day. I was less dedicated.

“And this week I was dedicated, and my shoulder starts hurting. I don’t know.”

Kyrgios’s premature exit follows a first-round loss at Wimbledon and second-round defeats in Paris and Melbourne.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I keep letting people down,” he said.

Despite his abject disappointment, Kyrgios said he planned to press ahead with plans to lead Australia into battle against Belgium in the Davis Cup semi-finals this month in Brussels.

– AAP

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