Nick Kyrgios was too ‘snarky’ in reply to journalist over racket throwing incident, says former world No 1

Nick Kyrgios loses his cool

Nick Kyrgios has made a lot of headway in terms of keeping his emotions in check, but he still has a “little work” to do with tennis great Chris Evert saying he overstepped the line in his “snarky” reply when a journalist questioned him about nearly hitting a ball boy in Indian Wells.

The Australian enjoyed an excellent run at the BNP Paribas Open last week, reaching the quarter-final where he lost in three sets against Rafael Nadal.

However, his emotions boiled over at the end of the match as he flung his racket to the ground and it nearly hit a ball boy, who had to duck out of the way.

Nick Kyrgios news: Aussie lashes out after hot-tempered loss

A journalist asked Kyrgios about the incident during the post-match press conference, but the 26-year-old was unimpressed, saying: “What do you want me to say? It was three meters away from the kid. That’s a question you’re going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal? That’s what you come here with?”

The journalist replied: “I saw a kid duck…”

Kyrgios answered: “He ducked. Duck. He ducked. He ducked. He ducked. He ducked. Jesus. All right.

“Well, if that’s what you’re going to come in here to come ask me, it didn’t hit him. It was an accident. It most definitely wasn’t like [Alexander] Zverev. It was complete accident. I didn’t hit him, thankfully. It wasn’t my intention. So thankfully the ball kid’s okay.

“Great question, though. Unbelievable stuff.

“(Clapping.) Congratulations, man.”

Former world No 1 Evert defended the journalist’s line of questioning as she feels Kyrgios could have handled things better.

“First of all, I thought Nick was playing very well,” the 18-time Grand Slam winner told Eurosport.

“He had a good Indian Wells, I thought he looked in better shape, better condition than he has. He didn’t look out of breath. He looked like he had been working on his fitness.

“I think, for the most part, he kept his emotions inside him the best that he could. At the same time, I thought he was a little snarky. You know, that word snarky, when he was at the press conference because if you look at the video, he almost hit the ball boy.

“So that was a question that was appropriate. It was an appropriate question, and he was probably a little irritated and snarky and didn’t reply in a nice way.

“But all in all again, it’s a journey for him, he’s brilliant in his tennis and he’s made headway both in his tennis and his fitness and his emotions.

“I hope that continues. Still a little work to be done, but I hope that continues.”

Kyrgios apologised to the ball boy after the match and gifted a racket to the youngster.