“It Cost Me the Set”: Nick Kyrgios Rages Over Chair Umpire During Loss Against Reilly Opelka

Published 08/09/2021, 11:56 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios reacts during his third round match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


The Nick Kyrgios – Reilly Opelka encounter at the National Bank Open 2021 opening round excelled its expectations. Given the Australian’s personality, fans knew it’d be a match full of drama, and that’s exactly what it was. Most significantly, Kyrgios’ dissatisfaction with chair umpire Aurelie Tourte’s decision got all the attention.

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At 4-4 in the second set, the Aussie thought that his opponent touched the net while passing the ball to his side of the court. However, the chair umpire did not agree, and Kyrgios was not at all happy about it.

Aug 9, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Nick Kyrgios of Australia goes to return a ball to Reilly Opelka of the United States (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Interestingly, he went on to lose the set, bringing the match to 1-1 set-wise. Kyrgios, then, went up to the chair umpire Aurelie Tourte and called her out on the made decision.

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“It’s a joke. It cost me the set,” Kyrgios told Tourte. Until then, there were no replays shown and it seemed as if the Australian saw something everyone in the stadium missed.

Further ahead in the match, the replay clearly showed that the American Reilly Opelka was nowhere near touching the net. Hence, the credit for coming back into the match after a set loss entirely goes to his game.

But above all, the incident pushed Kyrgios into closing the match quickly. In response, it actually helped Opelka to take advantage of the Australian’s out-of-rhythm drive.

Nick Kyrgios vs Reilly Opelka: National Bank Open 2021

At the start of the match, Kyrgios got confused when the chair umpire was explaining the towel rules. It most certainly clarified that the Aussie star was in the mood for some entertainment.

Aug 9, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Nick Kyrgios of Australia goes to return a ball to Reilly Opelka of the United States (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following that, World No.80 also asked for service advice from the crowd and served it right. But eventually, he saw an early exit in Toronto despite taking the first set 6-4. The final score: 6-4, 6-7(4), 4-6.

In all, it is Kyrgios’ third loss in four matches. Accordingly, he would need to analyze his game before moving to Ohio for Cincinnati Masters and New York for US Open 2021.

As for Opelka, his discipline to his game brought him the victory over the Aussie maverick. He will hope to add more to the victory in the next round.

Opelka’s road ahead in Toronto

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After defeating Kyrgios, the American will play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the second round. Just like Nick, Opelka will play his next opponent for the first time in his professional career.

Aug 9, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Reilly Opelka of the United States serves to Nick Kyrgios of Australia (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, Opelka and Dimitrov can go onto meet either Rafael Nadal or Lloyd Harris in the Round of 16 matches. Hence, the tournament has only to go upwards from here on. Let’s see who keeps their game into the game and goes deeper in Toronto.

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Purav Joshi

1114 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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