Kyrgios in slanging match with a spectator in Miami
Nick Kyrgios continued his wild ride in Miami with some amazing displays of self-confidence mixed with outbursts at a fan during his third round match against Dusan Lajovic.
Kyrgios won 6-3 6-1 but there was plenty of drama in the stands as well as on the court. At 4-1 up in the first set he engaged in a slanging match with a spectator who was goading him from behind the baseline.
Unsurprisingly, the Aussie tennis star wasn't going to bite his tongue.
"Did you get a free ticket? Why are you watching me on a Sunday night?" Kyrgios said.
"You got nothing else to do on a Sunday night?"
Kyrgios laughed as he taunted the man, before the fan stood up and gestured with both hands for the Canberra product to bring it on.
Jeers rang out around the stadium and the spectator reached out to a woman sitting next to him, but she looked like she wanted to be anywhere but next to the bloke causing the ruckus, turning away and refusing to acknowledge him.
"It's Sunday night and you're still out here watching me. What are you doing?" Kyrgios added.
The umpire tried to settle things down and they did - for all of three points. Then Kyrgios got stuck in again.
"Bro, where's your fam?" he said before cackling again.
Kyrgios is used to being on the receiving end of crowds' animosity but it was difficult to tell whether the fans in Miami were barracking for or against him as the noise levels hit a crescendo when the offending spectator was escorted out of the stadium by security.
"This is all getting a bit pathetic now," one commentator said.
Kyrgios addressed the spicy confrontation after the match, revealing what sparked it.
"At a change of ends he literally just said, 'You're a d***'," Kyrgios said, before explaining he copped the same insult a second time, forcing him to respond. "Then he was like, 'Come here and say it'.
"He said I had a s**tty haircut. And you know what? I haven't been to a barber shop in a couple of days, so he was pretty right."
Kyrgios wasn't offended by the incident, brushing it off and saying tennis needs entertainment. He also said the spat motivated him to play better but couldn't understand why someone would pay to come to a sporting event then complain about being there.
"Idiots like that in the crowd who have nothing better to do on a Sunday night than watch me play are talking to me as if they're not interested in watching when they've literally got nothing else to do but sit there and watch me," he told reporters.
"I had a bit of fun with it. I knew that I was going to get him kicked out. I loved it, I loved every single bit of it.
"I think the crowd loved it.
"You've got guys like that I just don't understand. When I go to a sporting event, an NBA event, I just sit there and admire the athletes and support them and watch them because I genuinely like being at an event. I don't understand the talking.
"He's probably stuck in traffic still. There's probably traffic at his house, it's probably rush hour."
Along with the controversy was the usual sprinkling of pure tennis magic - the likes of which we saw in Acapulco during Kyrgios's giant-killing run towards the Mexico Open title.
After causing a stir with an underarm serve against Rafael Nadal in Mexico, Kyrgios showed he wasn't afraid to take the unconventional route as he successfully pulled off the move twice against Lajovic - one of which resulted in an ace.
Add to that a mid-air salute before hammering a smash, tweeners and no-look volleys and we had the perfect example of why Kyrgios's matches are box office affairs.
Even by Kyrgios's standards the match against Lajovic was something else but he had the substance to match the flair, slamming 12 aces and winning 81 per cent of first-serve points.
The world No. 27 was simply far too strong for his Serbian opponent, progressing to the fourth round where he'll play either Croatian Borna Coric or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.