Nick Kyrgios is never far from the headlines. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios is never far from the headlines. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Kyrgios admits to tanking at Cincinnati Open

CAN you be punished for openly tanking in a match you end up winning?

That's a question for tennis officials after Australian star Nick Kyrgios again pushed the boundaries in a wild second-round match at the Cincinnati Open.

A day after forgetting to bring tennis shoes to his first round win against Denis Kudla, Kyrgios again left viewers scratching their heads.

The Australian recorded a 7-6 0-6 6-3 win over  Croatia's Borna Coric despite a mid-match meltdown.

After fighting back from a break down, Kyrgios took the first set with an almost perfect tie-breaker (7-1).

But he began experiencing difficulty with his movement and a frustrating umpiring call sent him into full meltdown mode, according to reports.

He started trying again in the deciding third set and broke Coric in the fourth game before serving out the match.

"I knew I was always going to compete in the third set. I competed too hard in the first set to sort of just let the match slip and not compete, give myself a chance to win, at least," Kyrgios said.

"Yeah, the second set, when I was 4-0 down, I knew there was no real point of me going out there and competing and obviously waste energy trying to battle back against like a guy like that.

"I knew at 4-0, if I lost the set 6-0, I was going to be serving first in the third set, and I think I carried a lot of momentum from the first game, and it ended up being a smart move."

One courtside viewer claimed in a tweet that Kyrgios could be overheard telling his team: "You'll never see a bigger tank than the next three games."

He will play the winner of Hyeon Chung's match against Juan Martin del Potro in the round of 16.

Kyrgios has admitted to tanking matches in the past and was fined and suspended for eight weeks after failing to try against Mischa Zverev at the 2016 Shanghai Masters.

He lost the match 6-3 6-1 in 48 minutes, at one point asking the umpire: "Can you call time so I can finish this match and go home?"