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Nick Kyrgios caused controversy Monday during his straight-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut at the U.S. Open.
Kyrgios, who’s known for bad behavior on the court, had a testy exchange with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match. Bernardes asked Kyrgios to put his used towels close to the bins, according to ESPN. The Australian star said it was a “f—g joke” he had to put his towels in a certain spot.
The 26-year-old, who has never finished better than the quarterfinals in any major, appeared to try and make a statement about being vaccinated.
“Look, the towel situation for me is incredibly stupid,” he told reporters. “I’m one of the players on Tour that is fully vaccinated. And as of now, I’m getting treated exactly the same as a player that is not vaccinated. I feel like if I want my towel around the court, if it’s not disturbing Bautista Agut’s vision, if he doesn’t see the towel, I don’t see anything wrong with having my towel on the side or on the ground. And it’s just absurd for me.”
Kyrgios was bounced after the first round but had never made it past the third round of the U.S. Open. He’s been eliminated in the third round in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Against Bautista Agut, Kyrgios suffered three double faults and had a 58% winning percentage on the first serve.
Bautista Agut won the match 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
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