Nick Kyrgios’s ATP Cup match with Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas promised drama, and delivered it in spades — but it was Kyrgios who kept his cool while his opponent’s rage turned into a full-on family dispute.
- Stefanos Tsitsipas accidentally hit father and Greece team captain Apostolos on the arm while smashing a racquet
- The incident prompted Stefanos’s mother to come toward the bench to have a word with her son
- Nick Kyrgios went on to win the match in dramatic style, sealing victory for Australia in the ATP Cup tie
World number 30 Kyrgios would go on to claim a 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5) win at Pat Rafter Arena to give Australia victory in the tie, but it was the extraordinary meltdown by Tsitsipas that stole the show.
After losing the first set, the world number six slammed his racquet into the bench, accidentally clipping his father and Greece captain Apostolos Tsitsipas on the forearm.
His unimpressed dad walked away briefly before Tsitsipas’s mother Julia emerged from the crowd to stand behind the bench and give her son a public dressing down for his behaviour.
Wide World of Sports: A frustrated Tsitsipas accidentally hits his coach during an outburst
It appeared to have little effect with Tsitsipas then receiving a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct early in the second set when he smashed a ball into his unfortunate bench, this time just missing his dad.
That was enough for his father, who relocated behind the court-side bench for the rest of the match as Tsitsipas’ mum returned to give her son another spray.
All eyes were on Kyrgios to see if he would be on his best behaviour after starting the year with a suspended 16-match ban hanging over his head.
But the former world number 13 looked like a choirboy compared to the hot-tempered Tsitsipas on Tuesday night.
He held his nerve to give Australia an unbeatable 2-0 lead, ensuring the hosts have won all three ties to date.
Kyrgios missed the last tie against Canada with a back complaint but stepped up as Australia’s number one player on Tuesday after world number 18 Alex de Minaur was rested against Greece.
Earlier, John Millman drew first blood for Australia when he outlasted a gutsy Michail Pervolarakis 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1).
World number 48 Millman had to dig deep against an opponent ranked 438 places lower than him who was also battling an ankle complaint from the second set.
De Minaur was rested for Australia, who have already secured top spot in Group F and a quarter-finals berth in Sydney following wins over Germany and Canada.