Nick Kyrgios won an epic five setter in front of an adoring crowd to advance to the third round of the Australian Open but says the match was hindered by tournament technology.
The Australian twice came back from a losing position to force a fifth set decider, eventually beating an impressive Ugo Humbert 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Several times through the match, the umpire responded to the net technology calling a net call on serves from both players when the ball appeared to make no contact.
Kyrgios took it upon himself to speak on behalf of both players during the match asking umpire Marijana Veljovic to turn the machine off as it was “ruining the game.”
At one point, after a heated discussion requesting the cord sensor to be removed, Kyrgios served directly into the net, knocking the sensor onto the court floor, but it was immediately returned by Veljovic.
After the game, Kyrgios said he was speechless about the match and thanked the crowd for their support, but said the net technology did provide him with problems.
“It’s tough because, having technology like that, you sound like an idiot trying to argue against it,” Kyrgios told reporters.
“But in saying that, even when he (Humbert) was serving, he served a ball that was this far (half a metre) over the net and the net thing went off.
“I said there was no chance this thing was accurate, in my opinion.
“The line-calling, look, we can’t do anything about that because that’s for COVID reasons, so that’s fair enough.
“But the net machine – if you have a device that you can turn down the sensitivity, I just think there’s too many variables.
“She (Umpire Veljovic) was like, I turned the sensitivity down, yet it was still beeping when the serves were a good inch off the net.
“I don’t know, I don’t have the solution, I just think when we’re 1-0 in the fifth set, 30-all and she’s trying to tell me ‘I understand that it’s effecting the match’ – I don’t think you do.
“There’s plenty riding on this match, it’s hard to just take that as an answer.
“But I don’t know what you can do about it. Maybe they need to upgrade their technology, but the remote thing was wack.”
Kyrgios’ remarks echo that of Giles Simon who earlier today brought into the question the accuracy of Hawk-Eye in the game and the standard of umpires.
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