Tennis Star Nick Kyrgios' U.S. Open Meltdown Is Really Turning Heads

Nick Kyrgios is almost as well-known for his on-court meltdowns as he is for his superb play. In June, the tennis pro came under fire at Wimbledon when he was seen spitting at a fan during a first round match. According to Kyrgios, his heated reaction was the result of the fan's constant badgering. "He literally came to the match to literally just, like, not even support anyone really," the Australian told ESPN on June 28. "It was more just to stir up and disrespect." Further commenting on the incident, Kyrgios said the interaction was emblematic of how people on social media believed they could rattle off negative comments with impunity.

At the following grand slam, Kyrgios once again let his temper get the best of him. During a second round match at the U.S. Open on September 1, Kyrgios erupted and started spitting toward his own player's box. "Go home if you're not going to f***ing support me, bro," he shouted at his group, per Eurosport. Kyrgios won that match in four sets, and had cooled down for the press conference. "I feel like this is probably the most pressure I've had on myself. I know that I'm capable of going to a Slam final now and I really want to achieve," he said while discussing the expectations for the tournament.

The outburst earned Kyrgios a $7,500 fine – the largest in U.S. Open history — but less than a week later, he eclipsed that outburst with an on-court tirade.

Nick Kyrgios goes ballistic after loss

Nick Kyrgios lost in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open to Karen Khachanov in five sets in the early hours of September 7, and proceeded to implode immediately after shaking the umpire's hand. The Australian grabbed a racket and smashed it against the ground multiple times before throwing it in fury. Immediately after, Kyrgios grabbed another racket from his bag and smashed that against the ground as well. During the following presser, Kyrgios expressed his dismay at his performance. "I honestly feel like s***. I feel like I've let so many people down," he said, per Yahoo! Sports. "I'm obviously devastated."

The on-court tantrum was not well-received by the sports community. Cricket commentator Alan Wilkins wanted the ATP to hand out a severe punishment to Kyrgios. "How much uglier does it get than this? Serve him a ban so that he learns to miss the sport that has given him such a good living," Wilkins tweeted. Others mentioned off-court allegations against the tennis star. "Considering the domestic violence charges against him, this is a pretty horrendous look for Nick Kyrgios and the sport of tennis," sportswriter Jon Jacobson tweeted after the outburst.

Fans also expressed their disappointment at Kyrgios's explosive reaction to the loss. "This is not passion it's petulance and has no place in top level sport," one viewer tweeted. Many pointed out that this had become a pattern for Kyrgios. "Such a bad loser, he is not capable of playing an entire match like a decent human," another added.