Newspaper article International New York Times

Rain, Delays and Sharp Words in Paris ; Kyrgios Ultimately Wins, While Reaffirming His Hot-Tempered Reputation

Newspaper article International New York Times

Rain, Delays and Sharp Words in Paris ; Kyrgios Ultimately Wins, While Reaffirming His Hot-Tempered Reputation

Article excerpt

While rain canceled most of the day's matches at the French Open, a dust-up between Nick Kyrgios and an umpire provided fodder for discussion.

For much of the first half of 2016, Nick Kyrgios avoided the kind of on-court outbursts and controversies that marred his breakout campaign last year. Unlike in the past, he has not accosted any fans or made audibly inappropriate remarks about an opponent's girlfriend.

There are moments when Kyrgios can be downright charming, even during his first-round match Sunday when he repeatedly complimented his opponent and helped him find a lost piece of equipment.

But then there is his more volatile side, which resurfaced in a profane confrontation with the chair umpire in the same match and lit a spark to a rainy opening day of the French Open.

Later, rain suspended roughly half of the remaining matches, leaving Kyrgios's outburst as the most prominent event of an otherwise disappointing afternoon at Roland Garros.

"I thought it was really tough," Kyrgios said, referring to the conditions. He used the same general terminology to describe the code violation that assessed against him.

During his three-set match with Marco Cecchinato of Italy, which Kyrgios won, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6), 6-4, the 17th-seeded Australian barked, "Towel" at a ball kid who wasn't as prompt with the towel as Kyrgios would have liked.

Carlos Ramos, the chair umpire for Court 1, immediately issued a code violation, which prompted the 21-year-old Kyrgios to claim at the time that he was the victim of "unbelievable bias."

But at least Kyrgios was able to complete his match, unlike Kei Nishikori, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Heather Watson, whose matches were suspended. The American Jack Sock, No. 23, had just lost a fourth-set tiebreaker to Robin Hasse when play was called just after 6p.m. They are scheduled to play the fifth set on Monday.

Those who finished included Petra Kvitova, the No. 10 seed and one of several contenders in a muddled women's field hoping to upset Serena Williams. She beat Danka Kovinic 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, in Philippe Chatrier Stadium.

No. 11 Lucie Safarova, who lost to Serena Williams in last year's final and is regaining her form after several injuries and illnesses, defeated Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-0, 6-2, in 56 minutes.

Most of the world's elite players, including Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and last year's men's champion, Stanislas Wawrinka, were not scheduled to play Sunday.

Before the rain, Benoit Paire of France, the No. 19 seed, beat Radu Albot, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 1-6, 6-5. Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands was also able to defeat Adrian Ungur of Romania, 6-1, 6- 2, 7-6 (5), and will play Kyrgios in the second round.

In his post-match interview, Kyrgios was asked one question about Sijsling. Most of the rest were about his dispute with Ramos in the first-set tiebreaker. …

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