A grim-faced Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday as Nick Kyrgios departed to boos after perhaps the most spectacular meltdown of his volatile career.
Nadal lost 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in the second round to Viktor Troicki, his first ever defeat to the Serb and just the latest setback for the fading Spanish great.
Chinese fans brandished pictures of Nadal — including one of him in his underwear — but some were left in tears as the 14-time Grand Slam champion was well beaten.
Afterwards Nadal, now 30 and with a catalogue of injuries to his name, vowed to return to top form by next season, mainly by putting the zip back in his forehand and movement.
Meanwhile Andy Murray seeking to wrest the world number one ranking from Novak Djokovic by the year’s end, moved fluently past America’s Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round.
Earlier Australia’s Kyrgios lashed out at fans and insisted “I don’t owe them anything” after he was booed off court in tempestuous scenes at Shanghai’s Grandstand court.
The hot-headed world number 14 clashed with the chair umpire and a heckler and admitted not trying after he lost 6-3, 6-1 to German qualifier Mischa Zverev, the world number 110.
Kyrgios was slapped with a code violation for an audible obscenity and was warned to play properly after he patted a child-like serve into his opponent’s court.
He later admitted “taking the easy way out” after he gave up on several points during the match, including one Zverev serve which he walked away from before it had landed.
But when asked whether he could understand why fans were upset, he shot back: “Not at all.
“I feel like if they knew what they were talking about they’d be on the tennis court and being successful, as well.
“No, I can’t really understand it at all. They don’t know what I’m going through.”
Kyrgios is known for his poor behaviour on court. Last year he received a suspended one-month ban for making a lewd and personal comment during a match with Stan Wawrinka.
Raonic through; Berdych ousted
Wawrinka, by contrast, had little trouble as the US Open champion mastered Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round.
Canada’s Milos Raonic beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-4, but Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych tumbled 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1) to Marcel Granollers.
David Goffin beat Benoit Paire 6-1, 7-6 (7/0) and Gilles Simon ended Chinese hopes when he beat wildcard Wu Di 6-2, 6-2.
Top seeds march ahead
Beijing: Top seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Svetlana Kuznetsova made short work of their opponents on Wednesday to advance in the WTA Tianjin Open.
In the last first-round match, world number two and top seed Radwanska took just an hour to beat Germany’s Tatjana Maria, ranked 105, winning 71 percent of first serve points.
Meanwhile 31-year-old Kuznetsova, the second seed, advanced to the third round with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Donna Vekic of Croatia, despite hitting one ace to her opponent’s five.
Danka Kovinic of Montenegro lost the first set against American Shelby Rogers. But her opponent only took three more games as Kovinic ran out a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner, notching eight aces and saving seven break points out of 10