ROME (AP) — Nick Kyrgios walked off the court in a fit of rage after throwing a chair onto the red clay at the Italian Open and was defaulted Thursday from his second-round match.
First, Kyrgios slammed his racket to the clay and kicked a water bottle in his match against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud. Then he picked up a white chair and flung it onto the court with his right hand.
Before he was defaulted, Kyrgios received a warning for ball abuse, then was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct and lost a game for more unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Very eventful day to say the least,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram. “Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default. Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe.”
Kyrgios, who has a history of bad behavior, was suspended by the ATP Tour in 2016 for “tanking” a match and insulting fans during a loss at the Shanghai Masters.
The latest incident occurred on an outer court at the Foro Italico with Ruud leading 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-1.
The men’s tour said Kyrgios will lose his $33,635 in prize money from the tournament and 45 ATP points, adding there will likely be further punishment pending an investigation.
Before leaving the court, Kyrgios shook hands with Ruud and the chair umpire.
In 2015, Kyrgios insulted Stan Wawrinka with crude remarks during a match in Montreal. He was fined $12,500 and given a suspended 28-day ban. He also attracted criticism for deciding not to play at the Olympics because of a spat with an Australian team official, and for firing back at retired players who have offered advice.
Earlier, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic all advanced in the first of their two matches Thursday, while Naomi Osaka won twice to reach the quarterfinals and hold on to the No. 1 ranking.
A rainout on Wednesday backed up play, causing the title contenders to try to win their double-headers as efficiently as possible to save energy.
Federer saved all seven break points he faced to beat Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3, then was to play Borna Coric for a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Good thing was this one was not that physical,” Federer said. “Borna is tough. I lost to him a couple of times last year.”
Compared to his attacking display in Madrid last week, Federer’s defensive game was particularly sharp.
En route to breaking Sousa midway through the first set, Federer ran down a drop shot with a perfectly timed slide and replied with a delicate, angled put away.
Federer fell behind 40-0 in the next game but then won five straight points to secure a 5-3 lead, closing out the service game with a forehand cross-court passing shot on the run from the corner — drawing a loud roar from the Foro Italico crowd.
Federer hit 25 winners to Sousa’s eight.
“I came out of the blocks well,” Federer said. “I had a good feeling. Didn’t get broken. That, on clay in a first round, is always a good sign.”
Eight-time Rome champion Nadal cruised past Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-1 and will next meet Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Djokovic eliminated Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3 and will play either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Marco Ceccinato.
Shapovalov appeared distracted by a flyover from fighter jets performing an air show and double-faulted to hand Djokovic a 3-1 lead in the first, prompting the 20-year-old Canadian to have a word with the chair umpire.
Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco spent nearly five hours on court over six sets to get by Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov and reach the last eight.
Local hope Fabio Fognini beat Radu Albot 7-6 (6), 6-3 and was to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in both players’ second match of the day. With the home fans creating a Davis Cup-like atmosphere on the picturesque Pietrangeli court, which is lined with neo-classical statues, Albot appealed for the chair umpire to ask the spectators to keep quiet during points.
Osaka beat Dominika Cibulkova and Mihaela Buzarnescu both with the same score, 6-3, 6-3.
Osaka hit 44 winners and 12 aces against Cibulkova.
“My serve was really good,” Osaka said. “I just tried to be really calm.”
Kiki Bertens, last week’s Madrid Open winner, also posted two victories.
Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova rallied past Simona Halep 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 for her second win over the Romanian this year.
Halep, who was a finalist in Rome the last two years and is preparing to defend her French Open title, took a medical timeout early in the third set and received treatment on her left leg.
“It’s just a little injury, which in a few days is going to be OK,” Halep said. “I’m sure.”
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