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Nick Kyrgios is out of the Murray River Open after losing 6-3 6-4 to Borna Coric, but it was his actions in between sets that had everyone talking.
Clearly frustrated with a lingering knee injury, the Aussie fan favourite ended up smashing his racquet on the Melbourne Park surface before hurling it into the empty stands.
Despite struggling with an obvious knee strain, Kyrgios refused to withdraw from the competition and soldiered on.
But as the opening set drew to a close, the 25-year-old made his trainer aware of the niggling issue.
"I can't serve without pain... when I land it feels unstable," Kyrgios said.
"I'll probably just play one more game. I'm serving at like 170 (km/h) instead of 220."
The world number 47 battled through the pain as close-up cameras captured just how much discomfort he was in.
But after falling behind in the second set, it all got a bit too much for him.
He had delivered one F-bomb too many in the eyes of the umpire, who slapped him with a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
And as Croatian opponent Coric extended his lead, Kyrgios really let his feelings be known by slamming his racquet on the court before lobbing it into the crowd.
"That's going to be another warning," said the commentator.
"And he's definitely going to get in trouble for that one."
But despite seemingly losing his cool during the match, Kyrgios wasn't going to let his injuries hamper his spirits after it.
"I'm relatively happy where my game's at. Obviously I wasn't expecting much this week but that was a positive," he said.
"Someone like Borna, I can't imagine he took many days off during (COVID), he was sharp today. Conditions were so tough for me personally I was struggling to find any rhythm, I served bad.
"He was just locked in, I don't expect anything less from him. That's why he's an unbelievable player. He brings that consistency every day.
"I'm not sad, I'm not disappointed at all. I played the three matches this week, which is exactly what I needed. Now I've got three, four or five days to relax, fine-tune a couple of things and see how it goes (in the) Aus Open."
The Australian Open begins this weekend, with Kyrgios expected to play despite his ongoing knee problems.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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