Australia's Nick Kyrgios reacts after defeating Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.
Australia's Nick Kyrgios reacts after defeating Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. AP Photo - Andy Brownbill

Kyrgios slaps down US reporter over bizarre question

FOR a brief moment it looked like an unsuspecting American journalist was about to pull off the impossible - leave Nick Kyrgios speechless.

But it didn't take long for the young Aussie to find his voice, ridiculing the reporter in his post-match press conference for asking him a question that had no basis in reality.

Fresh from his breezy 6-1 6-2 6-4 win over Rogerio Dutra Silva in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday night, Kyrgios answered questions about his form before being blindsided by the overseas journalist.

As a question about his links with NFL star Colin Kaepernick was being asked, Kyrgios was already looking perplexed. Here's what went down:

Reporter: You're friends with the American football player Colin Kaepernick and have been supportive of him in the past, what are your thoughts on his not being signed by an American football team this season?

Nick Kyrgios: I don't think I've ever spoken to that dude in my life.

R: But what are your thoughts about that?

NK: Where does that question even come from? We're at the Australian Open, man. Are we done?

Kyrgios was left shaking his head and struggled to find the words before his final part in the bizarre exchange - which prompted an awkward end to his media obligations.

Kaepernick - the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback - made headlines in America for kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He was the catalyst for a movement that has since swept across the NFL, with many more players following his lead.

But if Kyrgios has been following Kaepernick's career, he sure didn't show it.

The 22-year-old wasn't able to provide much more clarity on someone he definitely has spoken to before - Bernard Tomic. Tomic lost his final qualifier, denying him a spot in the main draw at the year's first grand slam. But he wasn't too perturbed, making reference to his healthy bank balance like he has done in the past.

"I just count money, that's all I do," Tomic said.

Kyrgios said Tomic wished him luck before his tournament opener but the pair haven't kept in regular contact.

"He sent me a message, he said good luck. I haven't really been talking to Bernard much. I don't know what his plan is or what he's going to do but I'll just hope for the best," Kyrgios said.

Another win at Hisense Arena - his favourite court at Melbourne Park - came with only one blemish as he told hecklers in the crowd to "shut the f*** up" during the first set, leading to a terse exchange with the umpire where he told the official to do his job and keep the crowd silent.

But nothing was going to stop Kyrgios demolishing Dutra Silva. He sent down 16 aces and smoked 33 winners in a one-sided contest that lasted less than 90 minutes.

Admitting he was battling nerves to start the match, Kyrgios was overall pleased with his "pretty good performance" and has booked a second round match-up with Serb Viktor Troicki, who defeated Australian Alex Bolt 6-7 (2-7) 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 on Monday.

"He's tricky. He's got a good serve and a great backhand," Kyrgios said.

"He's a journeyman, he's been on the tour a long time, he's won a lot of matches and in grand slams he's made the fourth round a lot of times so he knows the ups and downs that come in a grand slam match."


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