A bandanna-wearing Nick Kyrgios lashed out at a reporter who asked him why he hurled a peeled banana skin into the crowd while celebrating his first-round Australian Open victory.
The mercurial Australian tennis star dismantled Italian outsider Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets on Tuesday night before tossing towels, wristbands and official tournament gear into the roaring crowd at Melbourne Arena.
One fan was over the moon when he managed to grab a rogue banana peel thrown by Kyrgios, but the 23-year-old was less than impressed when asked about the stunt in a post-match interview.
‘When you were cleaning up, was that just so the ball girl didn’t have to do it?’ the reporter asked.
‘You’ve got to do better than that, bro,’ Kyrgios shot back. ‘Is that a serious question? Oh my god. Next question.’
What the…A fan is left stunned when he realises he has caught an old banana peel thrown by tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios
The reporter’s question appeared to be in reference to an incident earlier in the week when French tennis star Elliot Benchetrit asked a ball-girl during an Australian Open qualifier to peel a banana for him.
The World No 229 was sitting court side during a break in Melbourne when a ball-girl presented him with a banana.
The Frenchman then asked the young ball-girl to peel his banana for him, much to the disgust of the umpire John Blom.
Blom stepped in and told off Benchetrit as he struggled to open the fruit with his teeth.
The Frenchman went on to qualify for the first round and has been drawn against Japanese Yuichi Sugita, ranked 84th in the world.
One fan was over the moon when managed to grab the peel and his friends could be seen laughing hysterically when he showed them what he’d caught
Kyrgios eased through his first round win at the Australian Open against Italian world number 53 Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-1).
Despite the lights cutting out during the second set, the player was mostly measured in downing Sonego.
The 24-year-old put on a dominant serving performance and was never broken in the encounter, taking a straight sets victory in two hours and 13 minutes.
‘I was excited to get out here,’ Kyrgios said to tennis legend John McEnroe on court following his win.
‘Obviously it’s been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us (with the bushfires) so I wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.’
Kyrgios became emotional during the interview as the American superstar praised him for his response to the Australian bushfire crisis
Kyrgios became emotional during the interview as the American superstar praised him for his response to the Australian bushfire crisis.
‘The way you’ve led the way for the bushfire relief thing and everything you’ve done, I’ve got to tell you, well done man,’ McEnroe said.
‘Absolutely outstanding effort and I know a lot of people share the same view but I just wanted to tell you personally that I’m proud of you.’
Kyrgios said he was going to make him tear up after hearing his kind words.
McEnroe then vowed to donate $1000 to the bushfire relief fund for every set Kyrgios wins for the rest of this tournament.
Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios was left fuming after a reporter questioned him about why he tossed a banana skin at a fan
Ahead of the Australian Open, the athlete revealed he found it hard to concentrate on his home grand slam as bushfires ravaged the country
‘Good luck for the rest of the tournament and I hope you go a long way, buddy.’
The typically vocal player was left lost for words. ‘I don’t know what to say,’ a stunned Kyrgios replied.
Ahead of the Australian Open, the athlete revealed he found it hard to concentrate on his home grand slam as bushfires ravaged the country.
He has been proactive in his fundraising efforts for bushfire victims, taking part in a ‘Rally for Relief’ exhibition match, which raised $5 million.
He also pledged to donate $200 for every ace he served this summer.
Kyrgios will play the winner of Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas and Frenchman Gilles Simon in the second round.
The 24-year-old put on a dominant serving performance and was never broken in the encounter, taking a straight sets victory in two hours and 13 minutes
Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios was left fuming after a reporter questioned him about why he tossed a banana peel at a fan