As if one feud in Australian tennis was not enough.
Nick Kyrgios, knocked out of the men’s singles at the Australian Open on Tuesday evening, took to Twitter less than 24 hours later to blast tennis coach and commentator Roger Rasheed among others.
Responding to a tweet from Sportsday Radio that featured audio of Rasheed, former AFL star Gerard Healy and Fox Sports journalist Tom Morris, Kyrgios reacted angrily, claiming they had “zero idea” and “zero credibility”.
LISTEN | @roger_rasheed has coached some massive names in tennis.
Hear him and Gerard Healy discuss a key pillar that could improve the game of Kyrgios, Kokkinakis and Tomic.
— Sportsday (@SportsdayRadio) January 16, 2019
The 1988 Brownlow Medal winner Healy was critical of the footwork shown by Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Bernard Tomic in their first-round defeats at Melbourne Park and then went on to blast the World No.52’s fitness.
“Forget Kyrgios. He’s had a poor preparation. A few people with much better credentials than him are starting to tell him some home truths, like John McEnroe telling him he is not fit enough,” Healy said.
“He doesn’t want to know it. He doesn’t want to have a coach … we’ll forget about him until he wakes up to himself.”
Kyrgios responded in kind.
“You blokes all have zero idea. It’s comical people like yourself have an opinion of us. You blokes are anything but athletes, so how about you concentrate on your own sh-t. Zero credibility,” he posted on Twitter.
The Canberran then added a message only directed at Rasheed – who has coached Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov – that said “you should be ashamed mate” followed by a pair of emojis.
The SportsDay Radio discussion referred to AFL on more than one occasion, something that clearly annoyed Kyrgios.
“Like please explain to me the similarities between afl and tennis. Shut your mouth,” he added.
And it didn’t end there, with Seven News journalist Dean Felton weighing in.
Maybe focus less on meaningless social media chatter, and more on your lifting your game, effort and attitude. Then you and your critics could both shut up.
— Dean Felton (@DeanFelton7) January 16, 2019
Kyrgios’s public criticism of a well-known Australian sporting figure comes in the same week Bernard Tomic blasted Lleyton Hewitt for a range of topics including an allegation of preferential treatment towards certain players.
Kyrgios also lost in the men’s doubles on Tuesday, as he and friend Matt Reid lost in straight sets.
Our wrap up of the weird and wonderful on day three of the Open starts with the curious case of two fans fighting with each other … over a player’s headband.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka tossed a headband into the crowd following her win over Brit Katie Boulter, but it caused one hell of a problem as two fans argued over who deserved the item.
And both women refused to let go of the headband, leading to an altercation captured by an eagle-eyed reporter.
This is the greatest thing I’ve seen at the #AusOpen !
Two old ladies fighting over Aryna Sabalenka’s headband, which she threw into the crowd! 😂
Security came and escorted both women from the stadium. They also took the headband away as neither of the ladies would let go. pic.twitter.com/tv0I2mdaTt
— Jedd Zetzer (@JeddZetzer) January 16, 2019
Time to buy … a car
World No.240 Kimberly Birrell stunned 29th seed Donna Vekic on Wednesday, with the Australian coming from behind to win in three sets.
For reaching the third round, the 20-year-old will take home at least a $155,000 cheque.
“Maybe I can buy myself a car now … my mum and I share one,” she said while laughing.
Opelka hits 67 aces … and loses
Just two places separate Italian Thomas Fabbiano (100) and American Reilly Opelka (102) on the ATP world rankings.
At 211cm, Opelka was 38cm taller than his opponent, though, and after beating ninth seed John Isner in the first round, he kept up his impressive serving form.
Opelka smashed 67 aces in fact – and still lost!
Credit to Fabbiano, who scrapped his way to a 6-7 (17-15) 6-2 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-5) victory.