Kyrgios defaulted for throwing chair onto court in Rome

ROME (AP) — Nick Kyrgios walked off the court in a fit of rage after throwing a chair onto the red clay at the Italian Open and was defaulted Thursday from his second-round match.

First, Kyrgios slammed his racket to the clay and kicked a water bottle in his match against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud. Then he picked up a white chair and flung it onto the court with his right hand.

Before he was defaulted, Kyrgios received a warning for ball abuse, then was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct and lost a game for more unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Very eventful day to say the least,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram. “Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default. Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe.”

Kyrgios, who has a history of bad behavior, was suspended by the ATP Tour in 2016 for “tanking” a match and insulting fans during a loss at the Shanghai Masters.

The latest incident occurred on an outer court at the Foro Italico with Ruud leading 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-1.

The men’s tour said Kyrgios will lose his 33,635 euros ($37,500) in prize money from the tournament and 45 ATP points, adding there will likely be further punishment pending an investigation.

Kyrgios was also fined 20,000 Euros for the three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties he received during the match and must cover the cost of his hospitality during the tournament, the ATP said.

Before leaving the court, Kyrgios shook hands with Ruud and the chair umpire.

In 2015, Kyrgios insulted Stan Wawrinka with crude remarks during a match in Montreal. He was fined $12,500 and given a suspended 28-day ban. He also attracted criticism for deciding not to play at the Olympics because of a spat with an Australian team official, and for firing back at retired players who have offered advice.

Also Thursday, Roger Federer won twice to reach the quarterfinals.

First, Federer beat Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3, then he saved two match points as he rallied past Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Coric missed forehands into the net on both of his match points in the tiebreaker. Federer converted his second match point when he forced Coric to hit a difficult, low volley into the net.

The 22-year-old Coric was playing his only match of the day and appeared fresher than the 37-year-old Federer at times. Coric won more points than Federer — 107-95 — but Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, won when it counted.

“It’s nice to get lucky sometimes,” Federer said. “The atmosphere was fantastic. People were going crazy. … I gave him a chance to win it and he didn’t so I took it at the end.”

After getting stretched out wide to the doubles alley, Federer produced a forehand cross-court winner as he broke for a 4-2 lead in the second set.

Federer will next face either local hope Fabio Fognini or Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Fognini started the day by beating Radu Albot 7-6 (6), 6-3 and was still to play Tsitsipas. With the home fans creating a Davis Cup-like atmosphere on the picturesque Pietrangeli court, which is lined with neo-classical statues, Albot appealed for the chair umpire to ask the spectators to keep quiet during points.

Also, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic won the first of their two matches, while Naomi Osaka won twice to reach the quarterfinals and hold on to the No. 1 ranking.

A rainout on Wednesday backed up play, causing the title contenders to try to win their double-headers as efficiently as possible to save energy.

Eight-time Rome champion Nadal cruised past Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-1 and will next meet Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Djokovic eliminated Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3 and will play Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Shapovalov appeared distracted by a flyover from fighter jets performing an air show and double-faulted to hand Djokovic a 3-1 lead in the first, prompting the 20-year-old Canadian to have a word with the chair umpire.

Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco spent nearly five hours on court over six sets to get by Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov and reach the last eight.

Osaka beat Dominika Cibulkova and Mihaela Buzarnescu both with the same score, 6-3, 6-3.

Osaka hit 44 winners and 12 aces against Cibulkova.

“My serve was really good,” Osaka said. “I just tried to be really calm.”

Kiki Bertens, last week’s Madrid Open winner, also posted two victories.

Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova rallied past Simona Halep 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 for her second win over the Romanian this year.

Halep, who was a finalist in Rome the last two years and is preparing to defend her French Open title, took a medical timeout early in the third set and received treatment on her left leg.

“It’s just a little injury, which in a few days is going to be OK,” Halep said. “I’m sure.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.