Nick Kyrgios only lasted three sets in the 2021 U.S. Open, but that was plenty of time for complaining.
In falling to No. 18 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain on Monday night, Kyrgios bickered with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes about having to walk his towel to the corners of the court because of COVID protocols instead of throwing it where he wanted.
Kyrgios called it a “(expletive) joke, mate” that he had to walk “20 extra steps” to put away his towel.
“It’s part of the game,” Bernardes told Kyrgios.
“It’s not part of the game,” Kyrgios responded, according to The Guardian. “So texting someone’s part of the game, too? Taking 20-minute bathroom breaks is part of the game? That’s part of the game. Everything’s part of the game. I need to take a (expletive). Ah, part of the game. It’s (expletive) stupid.”
Kyrgios also muttered about having to be on the court so late at night and Bautista Agut’s bathroom break after the second set.
Kyrgios was penalized a first serve midway through the third set for a repeated time violation but by then it was clear he wasn’t coming back.
Bautista Agut beat Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.
“Look, the towel situation for me is incredibly stupid,” Kyrgios said after the match, according to ESPN. “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.”
Contributing: Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nick Kyrgios rants about towels during first-round loss at US Open