Cincinnati, Aug 17 (IANS) Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis on Tuesday said Nick Kyrgios was wrong to drag him into his on-court issues with Stanislas Wawrinka at last week’s Canadian Open, but says his teammate has apologised to him for doing such a thing.
Kyrgios, 20, sledged Swiss star Wawrinka, 30, during a match in Montreal by saying that his rumoured current girlfriend, Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic was involved in physical relations with Kokkinakis.
The sexual slur evoked strong negative global responses from the tennis community, who slammed Kyrgios for his unsavoury comments. It also drew a very vocal response from reigning French Open Wawrinka. Kokkinakis also distanced himself from the controversy.
“I let him know. I made it pretty clear that he can’t be doing that. If he’s got a problem, he’s got to say it in private. The way he went about it definitely wasn’t the right thing,” Kokkinakis was quoted as saying by guardian.com.
The 19-year-old also admitted that he had to spend sleepless nights since Kyrgios sparked global outrage for telling Wawrinka: “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend”.
The Australian, however, claimed to have settled the issue with Wawrinka and Vekic, the rising women’s singles star, Kyrgios was referring to.
The fallout continued on Sunday when Kokkinakis almost hit American Ryan Harrison during a heated match where the latter sledged him about the whole sorry affair and on Monday agreed with calls for Harrison to be fined by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), just as Kyrgios was.
“It’s been interesting. It’s been a circus,I haven’t gotten much sleep on the nights of the two incidents,” he said.
Speaking about the incident further, Kokkinakis said he was watching the match but did not know about the words Kyrios told Wawrinka.
“I was just on my laptop watching the (Kyrgios-Wawrinka) match, and then my phone just went crazy. I was like, ‘Oh, jeez’,” he said. “I was watching it but I didn’t actually know it happened. I found out via one of the Fox Sports guys that sent me a tweet.
“It was pretty crazy what happened. Obviously he shouldn’t have said what he said under the circumstances. But, yeah, it is what it is and, yeah, (we’ve) got to move past it now.”