Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a shot to Karen Khachanov of Russia during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 14, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

CINCINNATI, – Nick Kyrgios stepped off court to smash two racquets and toss his shoes to spectators Wednesday in a meltdown during a second-round ATP Cincinnati Masters loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

Eighth-seeded Khachanov rallied for a 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 victory over the volatile Australian, but the final set was close to farce, with Kyrgios engaged in a running dialogue with Irish chair umpire Fergus Murphy.

“He has a really great talent but sometimes the head not in the right place,” Khachanov said.

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“It was a really difficult match for me — I had to really work it out, how to get the win.

“It’s really tough (playing Kyrgios), not only for me but for everybody. You have to try and handle it, then you can have chances to win the match. Always try to stay in there.”

World number 27 Kyrgios, rarely far from controversy, was defaulted three months ago after throwing a chair as he quit a match in Rome.

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The latest iteration of the Kyrgios saga erupted after he lost the second set to Khachanov.

Sitting in his chair at the pause, Kyrgios suddenly announced he was going on a bathroom break, with Murphy telling him there was no time.

The Aussie walked anyway, carrying two racquets with him. Television showed him going through a stadium door partly made of glass and smashing his racquets before collecting them and walking back onto court.

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But it was the ice-calm Khachanov who took advantage, breaking for 4-2 and running out to a 5-2 margin.

Kyrgios, by now hardly in the match, double-faulted to hand over two match points and served up another double after saving a first match point.

He refused to shake Murphy’s hand on the way off court and tossed his shoes and other soft articles into the crowd and handing his broken racquets to young fans before walking off. (AFP)



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