(Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios has accused the Mexican Open crowd of “disrespect” after being jeered following his retirement against Frenchman Ugo Humbert due to a left wrist injury.
The Australian had delighted fans with some superb tennis en route to the title in Mexico last year but it was a different story on Tuesday when he was forced to quit the first-round clash after losing the opening set 6-3.
The 24-year-old, who was on court for only 32 minutes, later vented his anger in an expletive-laden news conference.
“I’m not healthy, I tried to come here, I tried to play,” Kyrgios told reporters.
“I’ve been doing media for the tournament, been helping out. I tried to give the fans a little bit of tennis. And their disrespect?”
Kyrgios, placed on probation by the governing body of men’s tennis over his behavior last year, had shown a different side to his character in the lead up to this year’s Australian Open.
He had called on the tennis world to help the victims of Australia’s bushfire crisis and triggered an appeal that raised millions of dollars.
his exit robs the tournament of a potential blockbuster clash with Rafa Nadal, who advanced with a 6-3 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
Second seed Alexander Zverev moved past qualifier Jason Jung 7-6(6) 6-1 to reach the second round.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)