Nick Kyrgios complains about US Open crowd smoking weed during match – Screen Shot
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Nick Kyrgios complains about US Open crowd smoking weed during match

During his match against French opponent Benjamin Bonzi on Wednesday 31 August 2022 at the US Open, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, 27, complained about smelling marijuana smoke coming from the crowd. Turning to umpire chair Jaume Campistol, Kyrgios suggested he warns the crowd “not to do it or anything.”

Speaking after the match—which he won, by the way—the tennisman highlighted the fact that he suffers from heavy asthma and added that when he was “running side to side” and “struggling to breathe,” marijuana was “probably not something I want to be breathing in between points.”

Although it’s unclear whether there really was a spectator smoking weed during the match, the umpire did ask the audience to “refrain from smoking around the court” after speaking to Kyrgios. This wasn’t, however, without having the fiery player swear at him first.

This latest controversy comes only a week after it was revealed that the woman who was thrown out of the Wimbledon final, in which Kyrgios faced Novak Djokovic after the Australian player claimed she was drunk and putting him off, is taking legal action against him.

At the time of the incident, Kyrgios told the chair umpire between points, “She’s drunk out of her mind in the first row.” Pointing at the woman, Anna Palus, he added, “The one who looks like she’s had about 700 drinks talking to me in every single point.”

As a result, Palus instructed her solicitors, Brett Wilson LLP, to begin defamation proceedings against the 27-year-old tennis prodigy and stated that she is prepared to take the case to London’s High Court if there is no “prompt resolution” to the matter.

In a statement released by her solicitors, Palus said, “On Sunday 10 July 2022 I attended the final of the Wimbledon tennis championships with my mother. It was an event we had been looking forward to for some time. During the course of the final, Nick Kyrgios made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me. Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena, but Mr Kyrgios’s false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world, causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress.”

She further revealed that her sole aim was to clear her name and vowed to donate any damages she may receive to charity.

These two instances aren’t the first nor the last time Kyrgios makes headlines for his ‘bad boy’ antics. Since turning pro in 2012, the Aussie has provided tennis fans with some of the sport’s most exciting and controversial moments of recent years.

In a Business Insider article titled The 11 most ridiculous things tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios has ever said or done, the publication proved just how regular these tantrums are. At the Laver Cup 2019, he blamed his defeat to Roger Federer on being distracted by “a hot chick” in the crowd. During the Italian Open of that same year, he kicked a water bottle and threw his chair on the court, which landed him a $25,000 fine and a disqualification from the tournament.

And the list goes on. Of course, Kyrgios’ struggle with mental health and addiction should not be ignored when looking at his track record. In a wide-ranging interview published in May 2022 by the Wide World of Sports (WWOS), the tennis player shared that he has been through “dark” times in his life.

“It was very serious, to the point of self-harm and it’s not okay,” he said, continuing, “I was abusing alcohol a lot, drugs and that spiralled out of control… I guess I pushed everyone that cared about me away and I wasn’t communicating, and I just shut down real life and I was trying to handle and tackle my problems head-on.”

Kyrgios also mentioned that hecklers and social media attacks took a toll on his mental wellbeing by stating, “I deal with it all the time. People just think raising the finger, abusing someone or making racist comments is acceptable in this day and age and I just don’t think that’s acceptable at all.”

Of course, none of this is acceptable, but the same applies to abusing spectators and throwing fits in the middle of a match…

Serena Williams slams gender imbalance in sports as she retires from tennis to focus on her family

A 27-year-long career, 23 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic gold medals, $450 million in earnings: winning her first Grand Slam title at the age of 17, Serena Williams, alongside her older sister Venus, has been widely credited with changing the face of tennis and women’s sports.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour back in March 2022, the sisters admitted that they were aware of entering an “all-white sport” when they became professional tennis players, but they relished the challenge of redefining the same. “We changed it from being two great black champions to being the best ever, period,” the younger Williams said.

“And that’s what we did. We took out colour and we just became the best… It is what it is, we changed the sport, we changed the fashion, we changed how people think, we changed how people think in business.”

Fast forward to Tuesday 9 August, Williams has now announced her plans to move on from tennis after the 2022 US Open.

“I have never liked the word ‘retirement’,” Williams wrote in a column for Vogue. “Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is ‘evolution’. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.” The athlete then went on to detail the struggle of maintaining a work-life balance as a woman, which ultimately prompted her to make the decision.

“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair,” she penned. “If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labour of expanding our family.”

“Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity,” she added.

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In an op-ed for CNN back in 2018, the tennis star admitted how she “almost died after giving birth” to her daughter Olympia with her partner Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit. She also highlighted how black women in the US are over three times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.

“I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete,” she wrote for Vogue. “I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.” The star also admitted how she had never thought about having kids earlier in her career, but when it comes to Olympia, “nothing is a sacrifice.”

“It all just makes sense,” Williams continued. “I want to teach her how to tie her shoes, how to read, where babies come from, and about God. Just like my mom taught me.” Tennis, by comparison however, has always “felt like a sacrifice” for the athlete, although it was one she enjoyed.

“I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry,” she admitted. “I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way.”

Williams also mentioned how she would love to stick around and try to beat retired Australian player Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. “The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus Grand Slams,” she wrote. “But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”