Nick Kyrgios doubles down on criticism of chair umpire: ‘He made it about himself’

Shahida Jacobs
Nick Kyrgios talks to the media

There was no backtracking from Nick Kyrgios following his run-in with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes at the Miami Open, saying the official was “becoming the centre of attention” during his match against Jannik Sinner.

It was a bad-tempered evening for Kyrgios as he crashed out of the ATP Masters 1000 event in the fourth round, going down 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 against the Italian.

He was handed a point penalty at the end of the first set after smashing his racket. At the beginning of the second set he was docked a game after smashing his racket again and he then took a selfie with a fan who ran onto the court.

Nick Kyrgios vents online after heated match as he tells critic ‘no one gives a flying f*** about your opinion’

The Australian then went on a lengthy on-court rant, shouting: “Get a new set of referees, these guys don’t know how to do s***.

“Walky-talkies going off. It’s a joke. He is a joke. Get rid of every single staff and start over. Everything. I will run the sport. I could do 100x a better job. Marketing. Everything. You guys have no idea. None. You guys can’t even ref right.”

And there was no sign of him apologising for his behaviour after the match and he stuck to his guns during his post-match press conference.

“I just don’t think [Bernardes] controls the crowd well at all,” he told AFP. “For the point penalty, all I said to my team was that Matthew Reid, an ex-player, could do just as good a job. If that’s worth a point penalty at a Masters event, that is ridiculous in my opinion.

“When everyone in the crowd is booing an umpire and he is becoming the centre of attention, that is not his job. No one in the stadium came to see him talk or do what he does.

“You’ve got Jannik Sinner who is one of our greatest stars and, not to toot my horn, the majority of people are there to watch me play. And you have a guy talking while I was 40-0 up. He was talking. I was like ‘what are you doing?’ The crowd actually hated him that much they told him to be quiet.

“If you are getting booed by the crowd you are not doing a good job. He made it about himself and apparently his feelings were hurt from what I said and the crowd said. You can’t be like that if you’re an umpire.”