- Nick Kyrgios clashed with the infamously rowdy and brash crowd at the Indian Wells Masters.
- The Australian pulled actor Ben Stiller, who was in the crowd, into an argument with a heckling fan.
- “Do I tell him how to act?” — Kyrgios angrily asked the fan while pointing to Stiller.
The crowd at the Indian Wells Masters in California is well known for its brash, often downright rude fans, so much so that the Williams sisters famously boycotted the tournament for years.
Australian star Nick Kyrgios found himself the subject of abuse from the crowd during his quarterfinal match against Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal.
As Kyrgios served at two games all in the third and final set of the match, a fan in the front row behind the baseline began to taunt him.
It is unclear what the fan said, but Kyrgios reacted angrily, turning to the crowd and telling him to: “Just relax.”
He continued: “Are you playing? Are you good at tennis? Exactly, so why are you speaking?”
Kyrgios then turned and pointed to another part of the crowd, where Hollywood actor Ben Stiller was sitting with his family. Gesturing with his racket, Kyrgios asked the fan: “Do I tell him how to act? No.”
You can see footage of the incident below:
—Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) March 18, 2022
Stiller, famous for his roles in movies like “Zoolander” and “Meet the Parents,” could be seen smiling after the angry remark from Kyrgios.
Kyrgios lost the match to Nadal, falling to a 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 defeat against the 21-time Grand Slam winner. Nadal remains unbeaten in 2022, winning 19 consecutive matches since the turn of the year.
After the match, Kyrgios defended his comments to the fan, saying in his post-match press conference: “I just want people to know that you’re a spectator. You’ve bought tickets to come watch us play. At least don’t scream out before first and second serve.”
“When you’re a spectator, and you’re watching professionals play tennis, you should just be quiet. Don’t tell me how to play. Like, you could not win a single point against Rafa Nadal. Just sit on your seat and watch me play tennis. That’s it. Period.”
The incident, however, can’t be compared to one involving Naomi Osaka earlier in the tournament, Kyrgios said. Osaka was brought to tears by a heckling fan who repeatedly shouted, “You suck!” at her during her second-round loss to Veronika Kudermetova.
As well as clashing with a fan, a frustrated Kyrgios smashed his racket to the ground on-court after his loss to Nadal, almost hitting a ball kid in the process.
“I just want to apologise to that ball kid at the end of the match,” Kyrgios said in an Instagram post after the match. “It was a complete accident and was frustrated at the end of the match.
“My racket took a crazy bounce and was never my intention.”