Nick Kyrgios slams fan after having his take on Estoril umpire controversy questioned

Kyrgios said during the weekend that chair umpire Christian Rask should not be allowed to continue officiating on the Tour.

by Dzevad Mesic
Nick Kyrgios slams fan after having his take on Estoril umpire controversy questioned
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Nick Kyrgios ripped a fan who questioned his take that chair umpire Christian Rask should be fired from his job as the 2022 Wimbledon finalist bluntly stated that "a guy who idolizes tennis players and lived on Twitter" shouldn't be the one deciding what's good or bad for tennis players. 

During Friday's Estoril Open quarterfinal between Nuno Borges and Cristian Garin, one incident went viral and prompted reactions from fans but also fellow tennis pros. 

After one of Garin's shots was called out by someone from the crowd, Borges kept playing and returned the ball. Garin didn't stop the play and then proceeded to hit a forehand as if the point was still on - but after missing it wide out, the Chilean turned to the chair umpire and argued that Borges stopped the play and that he was distracted by that. 

The expectation was that chair umpire Rask would either award the point to Borges or simply decide to have the point replayed. But neither of those two happened as chair umpire Rask decided to award the point to Garin. To make it all worse, it was all happening in the moment when Borges had a break point. 

After watching footage of the controversial moment, Kyrgios wrote on X: "This umpire should be fired and never be able to take place in another match. Disgrace."

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Kyrgios hits out at a fan who questioned his take

One person thought Kyrgios was way too harsh in his criticism of chair umpire Rask and shared a video of the Australian throwing a chair during a 2019 Rome Masters meltdown. 

"Yeah one mistake and your career should be done," a tennis fan account wrote on X before clarifying: "Point here is everyone makes mistakes and deserves forgiveness."

After throwing a chair on the court, Kyrgios was disqualified early in the third set of his match against Casper Ruud and he was later also heftily fined and stripped of tournament prize money. 

Kyrgios didn't really think that the argument made by that particular fan made a lot of sense, firing back: "Uh? I wasn’t allowed to keep competing that week and lost prize money? That should be the consequence no? At least? Don’t think his pay check got taken away. Stfu."

"And also? He is an umpire, don’t think someone should be making as many mistakes this FREQUENTLY. I think being an umpire is a little easier than playing at the highest level. But yeah a guy who idolises tennis players and lives on twitter has the best judgment."

Kyrgios hits out at another fan as well: Did my behavior affect someone else's outcome?

Another person joined the conversation and asked Kyrgios: "Did you get banned for life, never allowed to play another tennis match again? No."

Kyrgios responded with a question: "Did my behaviour affect someone else’s outcome?"

Kyrgios then provided a lengthier and a detailed response: "No I’m asking you, how come tennis is one of the only sports that is unable to replay moments like this? And instead have someone that makes horrible decisions like this one that costs players hundreds of thousands of dollars? The whole thing should be AI controlled."

Kyrgios concluded by highlighting that the players are the main stage and not the umpires. 

"So yes. He shouldn’t be allowed to umpire again. We don’t need them? You need players. Sorry. You lose," Kyrgios wrote.

After an incident that happened midway through the second set, Garin went on to claim a 6-2 7-6 (3) win over home favorite Borges. But even before the match finished, Garin started receiving some harsh criticism and backlash and that only increased after he won the second set to win over Borges in two sets. 

Following the match, Garin simply defended himself by insisting that he just didn't know what was the right call in that situation. That pretty much placed all the responsibility on chair umpire Rask.

When it comes to Borges, he simply admitted that it was hard for him to understand the umpire's decision. Also, Borges said he was sure that chair umpire Rask knew that he had made a mistake but for some reason didn't want to correct himself. 

Borges didn't really unload on Garin but made it clear that he felt the Chilean could have acted better in that situation.

Nuno Borges
Nuno Borges © Getty Images Sport - Mackenzie Sweetnam

"I left the court without understanding the umpire’s judgment. He knows he made a mistake," Borges said after the match.

"It didn’t make any sense. Point shouldn’t stop because someone in the crowd shouts. He felt something coming from the crowd but we continued but he missed. Garin told me he missed because I stopped. It’s not his fault, but he doesn’t look good in this situation as well…"

Nick Kyrgios