Nick Kyrgios Totally Aces His Return Of Serve To Grumpy Ump
When does an ace become a perfect return of serve?
When you're Nick Kyrgios and your ace is the perfect response to an umpire's intervention, that's when.
Overnight in the Shanghai Masters, Kyrgios was on the slide against 104th-ranked American qualifier Bradley Klahn. That's when the argument started. That's when the arguments always start.
At 0-3 in the third set, Kyrgios appeared disinterested in a serve from his opponent, which whistled past for an ace. Was the serve reachable with a decent effort? French umpire Damien Dumusois clearly thought so.
The umpire told Kyrgios that his attitude was "borderline". The 23-year-old Australian, visibly unimpressed at being called out by an umpire for the second time this year, took great offense.
An argument ensued over whether the ump had said "borderline poor" or just plain "borderline". To be fair to the ump, it did sound like he just said "borderline".
Meanwhile, all this was happening to a backdrop of "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, which blared across the court in the break between games.
What happened next?
Kyrgios did not hesitate, no more, no more.
There was no need to complicate, his time was short.
Kyrgios took to court and served an ace. "Was that borderline?" he asked the ump.
15-0. Which was the tennis score as well as the score in the side-match between Kyrgios and the ump.
"Same thing," Kyrgios added, suggesting that his opponent's reaction to an un-returnable ace had been no different from his own.
Another ace. 30-0. Then a third ace a couple of points later at 40-15, to close out the game.
"When I get aced, it's poor behaviour but when they do it, it's fine," Kyrgios told the ump. Which wasn't the worst point in the world.
Love him or hate him, you've got to give Kyrgios credit for being an entertainer. The guy's tennis game can be a little hit and miss at times, but his sense of humour and comic timing rarely fail.
Unfortunately he lost the match 6-4 4-6 3-6, but what can you say? Perhaps this is his fate.