It seems that the key to taking on Nick Kyrgios is to simply hope his favourite basketball team has a bad day.
The explosive Aussie star has long courted controversy in his career, and his run to a first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon this summer wasn't without incident either. Kyrgios was fined following his first-round match for admitting to spitting in the direction of a fan, was hit with two further financial penalties in the tournament for audible obscenities.
His final defeat to Novak Djokovic saw him ask for a female fan to be ejected, accusing her of looking like she's had '700 drinks'. The Polish lawyer, who later claimed she'd only 'had two', is now taking legal action against the Canberra man,
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But Kyrgios has also turned heads by candidly admitting he's deliberately thrown matches in the past, all because his beloved Boston Celtics have lost. He made this claim to the Tennis Channel back in July, and as he prepares for next week's US Open, has bullishly doubled down on it.
“I’ve literally thrown tennis matches if they’ve [Boston Celtics] lost in like, double overtime,” the maverick told Sports Illustrated during an interview this week: "If someone plays me and they know the Celtics have lost, that’s [their] chance. That is for sure your best chance [to beat me], to play me on that day.”
Kyrgios has never made any secret of his love for the Celtics, often sporting their top when he arrives at venues or in practice. He also has 'Boston Celtics' with the team's emblem in his Twitter bio.
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His admission to 'tanking' will be viewed with intrigue by pundits and fans, just as the Aussie is showing signs of fulfilling his undoubted potential. Indeed, the absence of Djokovic from New York, and injury worries of Rafael Nadal, has catapulted Kyrgios into a leading contender.
And there may well be fireworks in his opening tie, as he takes on doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis. 'The Special Ks' claimed the Australian Open doubles title earlier this year, to the delight of a partisan home crowd.
That clash will take place in the early hours of Tuesday morning [BST]. The two friends have met twice before, with Kyrgios prevailing on both occasions.
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