Nick Kyrgios accuses ball kid of putting him off during Halle Open semi-final loss

Australian Open: Kokkinakis and Kyrgios speak after win

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It’s common to see Nick Kyrgios clash with umpires and other officials, but the Australian’s sights were turned on a ball kid at the Halle Open on Saturday. That was after the youngster in question made the mistake of not ‘running properly’, as far as Kyrgios was concerned.

The outspoken tennis star was up a set in his semi-final against Hubert Hurkacz but trailed two games to one in the second as he attempted to serve himself level. Kyrgios hit his first attempt into the net, prompting the ball kid to collect the ball near the baseline.

Dropping it initially, the volunteer stuttered to gather while Kyrgios prepared for his second serve. It was only after he overhit a forehand and lost the point that Kyrgios raised umbrage with the ball kid’s gait.

“You just put me off,” said the 27-year-old as he gestured towards the youngster, despite not saying anything when the incident took place. “Run properly, please.”

Wildcard Kyrgios knocked out seeded stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the semis in Germany. His second-round clash against the former saw Kyrgios smash a racquet and get into a heated exchange with the umpire over waiting times.

World No. 12 Hurkacz went on to win their clash 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, however, and will face Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s decider. Saturday’s encounter was the first time the Pole has faced Kyrgios on any surface.

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Victory over Hurkacz could have secured Kyrgios a seed in the draw for Wimbledon, which gets underway on June 27. He’ll compete in next week’s Mallorca Open as his final warm-up event before he returns to SW19.

The controversial Canberran advanced to the quarter-finals when he made his Wimbledon debut in 2014, which remains his joint-best finish at a major. Officials will be on guard anticipating any antics in London, with even the ball gatherers no longer free from Kyrgios’ scrutiny.

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