Wherever Nick Kyrgios goes, controversy seems to follow.
The Australian was up to his usual tricks in the second round of the Citi Open, during which he smashed his racket in anger and refused to shake the hand of chair umpire Fergus Murphy.
Up against Gilles Simon, Kyrgios was at his mercurial best as he hammered down 24 aces in a dominating service display to win 6-4 7-6(5).
But it was his on-court histrionics which once again caught the eye. After a contentious line call went against him, the 24-year-old flew into a fury, hurling his racket to the court and shattering the frame. He subequently handed the smashed racket to a young fan in the crowd.
Murphy duly penalised Kyrgios for racket abuse – a decision that the world 52 took umbrage with as he bickered back and forth with the umpire before refusing to shake hands after wrapping up victory.
He continued to provide his thoughts following the conclusion of the match on a hot and humid night in the US capital.
Kyrgios will next face Yoshihito Nishioka, a 6-7(5) 6-2 7-6(5) winner over seventh-seeded David Goffin, under the lights on Thursday.
Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas was tested in his first match of the tournament by Tommy Paul but held on to dispatch the American 6-3 7-5.
The 20-year-old Greek praised the 22-year-old Paul’s performance after their entertaining first career meeting on Wednesday.
“He played very aggressive tennis and was more unpredictable than players I have faced in the past,” he said.
“He didn’t give me much room to execute my game but I got through it by finding different solutions. I executed my game in a different way.”
Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime topped big-serving American Reilly Opelka to reach the round of 16 in his first main draw appearance at the tournament thanks to his stout defense.
The road gets no easier for the 18-year-old sensation as he next faces imposing sixth-seed Marin Cilic.
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