Volatile Australian Nick Kyrgios claimed on Sunday he was the victim of biased umpiring at the French Open and hinted that the game’s superstars are treated differently from the rank and file.
The 21-year-old Kyrgios, who has a history of regular run-ins with officialdom, was hit with a code violation in the first set tiebreak of his opening Roland Garros match for yelling at a ballboy.
He accused experienced umpire Carlos Ramos of “unbelievable bias” for the decision which came in his 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over Italy’s Marco Cecchinato.
It was a reference to world number one Novak Djokovic escaping any sanction for shoving umpire Carlos Bernardes at the Rome Masters last week.
“If that was me, it would have been a circus. The fact that nothing happened to Djokovic speaks for itself,” said the 17th seed, who ranted that Ramos’s decision was “fucking bullshit”.
The code violation out on Court One was handed down by Ramos when Kyrgios screamed “towel” at the ballboy.
“When I get my towel I always say thank-you to the ballboys but sometimes you get mad at them,” added Kyrgios.
“This time I said it a little louder. You only have 20 seconds between points and I didn’t get my towel -- it was a bit rough.”
“I think I dealt with it OK. It didn’t put me off but it is frustrating. I am an emotional player.”
Despite his anger, Kyrgios attempted to calm down his latest bust-up and offered an olive branch to the ballboys at the French Open as well as the long-suffering officials.
“Maybe I have to be more patient with them. Maybe some of the kids don’t speak English.”
“It is what it is. It’s not an easy job for the umpires having to concentrate for five sets. All in all, they do a good job.”
Kyrgios fired 16 aces and 50 winners on his way to victory over the 124th-ranked Cecchinato and goes on to face Dutch lucky loser Igor Sisjling.
Kyrgios, whose best performance at Roland Garros came last year with a run to the third round where he lost to Andy Murray, admitted the cold and damp conditions made his first round match a challenge.
“It was really tough. The conditions were heavy and that was a bit of a leveller out there,” he said.
“He was a crafty player and he had two set points in the second set. I was happy to get through.”