Melbourne, Jan 18:
Top seed Andy Murray sped into the Australian Open third round today but bad boy Nick Kyrgios was booed and accused of not trying as he crashed to a stormy defeat.
Roger Federer progressed despite unexpected resistance and women’s world number one Angelique Kerber celebrated her 29th birthday with a hard-fought win.
Murray painfully rolled an ankle and needed treatment in the third set against Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev, but he shook off the problem to win 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.
While the world number one cruised, Kyrgios stood accused of tanking, or giving up, during his 1-6, 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-2, 10-8 loss to Andreas Seppi.
Kyrgios, who is returning from a ban for “lack of best efforts” in a match in Shanghai, played lethargically and casually, especially in the fifth set.
“Obviously it’s not the greatest thing to hear,” he said of the booing. “I didn’t have the best preparation coming into the Australian Open. Pretty banged up, my body.”
“I don’t even know what the score was in the end. Was it 10-8? 10-8 in the fifth, getting booed off, definitely not the best feeling.”
Tennis legend John McEnroe said Kyrgios’s lack of effort was a “black eye for the sport”. Kyrgios explained that “my body was sore. I was hurting.
“I mean, John McEnroe. Good on him. Great career. Good on him.”
Asked how he could have been better prepared, Kyrgios, who hurt his knee playing basketball, said: “I don’t know, maybe just not play as much basketball. Actually take my pre-season seriously.” (Agencies)