“I Can’t Understand You”: Nick Kyrgios Confused Over Towel Rules at National Bank Open 2021

Published 08/09/2021, 10:50 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios celebrates winning his first round match against France’s Ugo Humbert REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


Nick Kyrgios and Reilly Opelka faced one another for the first time at round 1 of the Rogers Cup 2021. Considering that they are two of the biggest servers in tennis society, a monumental expectation lined up behind the duo to produce an absolute entertainer. And indeed, it started with a silly interaction between Kyrgios and chair umpire Aurelie Tourte.

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Before the match began, players met at the net where Tourte explained the basic rules. However, since the pandemic outbreak, the chair umpire also must assign different towels to the players. Funnily enough, while the Frenchwoman was explaining the rules to the Aussie star, he did not understand a word.

Instead, Kyrgios went on to compliment her French accent. “I don’t even know. I can’t understand you.” he told Tourte, “I like it though. That accent is crazy.”

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Nick Kyrgios vs Reilly Opelka: Rogers Cup 2021

Coming into this match, the American was the favorite, ranking-wise, standing 32nd in the world. Conversely, Kyrgios‘ position in the ATP Rankings had taken a mighty blow, falling to World No.80.

Apart from the numbers, both needed a winning start to help their US Open 2021 preparations.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in action during his second round match against France’s Ugo Humbert REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

But even though the encounter seemed giant at the net, Kyrgios turned the ambience to his liking. Hence, the pressure would be on Opelka to cut short the Australian’s confidence.

As for chair umpire Aurelie Tourte, she knows what the Aussie star brings with him on the court, and it probably isn’t the last fascinating conversation between the two in the day. Above all, the hope would be to see all-out tennis entertainment from the racquets of Kyrgios and Opelka.

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Kyrgios and Opelka in Rafael Nadal’s half in Toronto

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As per the draw, the winner between Kyrgios and Opelka will play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov next. Following that, the potential round of 16 encounter would be against Rafael Nadal or Lloyd Harris.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Therefore, a mighty task lies ahead for both the players in the Canadian Open. Nevertheless, they both will want to go one match at a time.

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Conclusively, it would be interesting to see who goes ahead in the National Bank Open (previously Rogers Cup). Will it be the walking box-office entertainment Kyrgios or the mighty Opelka? Only time will tell.

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Purav Joshi

1131 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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