Thanasi Kokkinakis has been involved in a heated verbal stoush in his third round loss at the Miami Open against Fernando Verdasco on Tuesday.
The Spanish veteran battled to a 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory over the 21-year-old Australian, after a fiery exchange about Kokkinakis’ father at the change of ends in the third set.
The row came after Verdasco, 34, took issue with some noise behind him in the crowd, complaining that a man was talking between his serves in the first set.
The situation led to the Spaniard lamenting the issue during Kokkinakis’ serving motion in the third – a behaviour the Australian described to the chair umpire as “bulls–––”.
Verdasco responded to Kokkinakis’ complaint by reiterating his own, sparking a expletive row between the pair.
“I’m not trying to disrespect you I’m not talking about you I’m talking about the guy in the crowd,” Verdasco said pointing to the man in question.
Language warning: Kokkinakis and Verdasco’s heated exchange below:
Kokkinakis & Verdasco getting into it on Grandstand in 3rd Rd at #MiamiOpen.. Issue is with TK’s father sitting in first row… Medvedev Tsitsipas looks like the undercard #ATP pic.twitter.com/GSQwCgnVd9
— John Horn (@SportsHorn) March 26, 2018
Kokkinakis fired back saying, “that is affecting me, that’s my dad’, after reassuring his opponent that it wasn’t his father making the noise.
“No it’s not your dad it’s the guy on the left with the hat,” Verdasco explained.
“Which hat, which hat?” Kokkinakis yelled back, turning to where his father was sitting in the stands.
Verdasco revealed the man he was annoyed with was a man wearing a wide brim hat and sunglass, to which an irritated Kokkinakis responded: “That’s my f–––ing dad”.
The Spaniard apologised for offending Kokkinakis, explaining that he thought it was the Australian’s coach who was talking between serves.
The angry exchange cast an ugly shadow over what has been a stellar tournament from the injury-prone Aussie.
Kokkinakis, who has suffered from shoulder, pectoral, abdominal, groin and ankle injuries since 2015, put the tennis world on notice after his stunning win over world no.1 Roger Federer in the last round on Sunday.
However, he was unable to back up his career-defining victory, losing to Verdasco after holding a 3-0 lead in the final-set tie break.