Nick Kyrgios has presented a ball boy with his racket after a near-miss that saw the Australian tennis star react furiously after his Indian Wells clash with Rafael Nadal. During his quarter-final showdown with the Spaniard, Kyrgios threw his racket to the court floor and it nearly hit the youngster.
The 26-year-old apologised for the incident on social media and promised to get in touch with the ball boy. Kyrgios identified the youngster and sent him a message on Instagram.
And now, the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist has shared a video of him presenting a racket to the individual. “I’m so sorry about yesterday, man. Are you alright?” Kyrgios asks the youngster in the video. He then asks if the boy will use the racket, to which they respond: “Oh, I’ll try.”
Kyrgios shook Nadal’s hand following a 7-6 5-7 6-4 defeat to the Australian Open champion. He then walked away and violently slammed his racket into the ground. It rebounded up at quite a speed and only just missed the ball boy, who had to quickly move out the way.
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Nadal called for the ATP to step in due to the rise in similar incidents, despite conceding he had not seen Kyrgios’ actions. He said after Thursday’s match: “Because these situations are happening more and more often, probably the ATP should review things and make decisions
“Not about today’s match because I didn’t see what happened in the end, so I can’t have an opinion … I hope nothing too bad happened because I wish (Kyrgios) the best. But if it’s bad, the ATP need to make decisions to avoid that and to stop that because sometimes, even if it’s very unlucky or unfortunate, going right in that moment that something negative will happen.”
Kyrgios hit out at journalists for focusing on the incident rather than how well he played against Nadal, responding sarcastically to one particularly question. He said: “Obviously, was that my intention? No. did I throw the racket anywhere near him originally? I threw the racket a metre away from my foot, it skidded and nearly hit him. I’m human, things happen like that, it was a misfortunate bounce.
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“I think if I had done it a million times over, it wouldn’t have gone that way. What do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid. That’s the question you’re going to [ask] after a three-hour battle against Nadal? That’s what you come here with?”
The journalist responded but their follow-up question was inaudible. Kyrgios snapped back, repeating: “He ducked. He ducked. Ducked.”
He continued, referencing Alexander Zverev striking an umpire’s chair in February: “If that’s what you’re going to come in here and ask me… it didn’t hit him. It was an accident. It most definitely wasn’t like Zverev. It was a complete accident. It didn’t hit him, thankfully. It wasn’t my intention, so thankfully the ball boy is okay.”