Nick Kyrgios ended his clash against Rafael Nadal in a fresh wave of criticism after a fiery explosion but has done his best to make it up to a ballkid.
Nick Kyrgios has gifted a ballkid at Indian Wells one of his racquets after narrowly missing the young man as he smashed his racquet following his loss to Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells.
The 21-time grand slam champion had his work cut out against Kyrgios who raged throughout the 7-6 5-7 6-4 match but the Spaniard claimed the victory.
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It was a wild match for the Aussie who lost his temper at himself, the umpire and the crowd, even dragging actor Ben Stiller into the drama to make a point.
After the match, Kyrgios was still fuming, shaking hands with Nadal and the umpire before loading up and smashing his racquet into the ground.
It flew off and nearly hit a ballkid, who ducked just out of the way as it cannoned into the wall.
Tennis writer Christopher Clarey tweeted: “Really disturbing to see Kyrgios smash a racquet in defeat (after the handshake) that rebounds and comes very close to hitting a bellboy. This stuff needs to stop, and he’s not alone.”
After he had enough time to cool down, Kyrgios took to social media to apologise to the ballkid, reaching out through social media to and offering him a racquet.
“Hey guys, I just wanna apologise to that ball kid at the end of the match!” he wrote on his Instagram stories.
“It was a complete accident and was frustrated at the end of the match. My racket took a crazy bounce and was never my intention. If anyone knows who that ball kids is, send me a message and I will send a racket to him. I’m glad he’s OK!”
He revealed he had managed to track down the ball kid, posting screenshots of a message exchange with the youngster, who said he was “completely fine” and accepted his apology for the incident.
Kyrgios also offered to give the ballkid one of his racquets in an attempt to make amends for his tantrum.
He tweeted: “Made a new friend in the process, accidents happen but we can go out of you way to make things better.”
And Krygios made good on his promise, sharing a video where he gave the ballkid the new racquet.
“I’m sorry about yesterday — are you alright?” Kyrgios said in the video posted on his Twitter.
While Kyrgios made amends for his actions, he was in no mood to talk about the incident after his clash.
Asked about the incident, Kyrgios raged: “What would you like me to say about it? Obviously, was that my intention? No.
“Because I threw the racquet. Did I throw my racquet anywhere near him originally? It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I’m human. Things happens like that.
“Obviously it was a very misfortunate bounce. I think if I did that a million times over it wouldn’t have gone that way.
“And what do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid. That’s a question you’re going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal? That’s what you came here with?”
Nadal was also asked about the incident and said the ATP needed to step in when ugly situations arise, similar to the Alexander Zverev outburst.
“I like him (Nick Kyrgios) like a character. But of course when you cross some lines, then the thing becomes different, no,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference.
“And the problem is, in my opinion, when you allow the players to do stuff, then you don’t know where the line is. And it’s a tricky thing.
“But probably because these situations are happening more and more often, the ATP should review things and make decisions. Not about today’s match because I didn’t see what happened at the end, so I can’t have an opinion.”