Nick Kyrgios makes marijuana claim during his latest US Open match

·3-min read
A surprised Nick Kyrgios Credit: PA Images
A surprised Nick Kyrgios Credit: PA Images

Nick Kyrgios has made a fresh accusation against a spectator after suggesting they were ‘smoking marijuana’ while watching his latest match at the US Open.

The Aussie maverick, who reached the Wimbledon final last month, launched an expletive-laden complaint to the umpire, before suggesting the spectator was smoking marijuana.

His complaint inspired the umpire to ask fans to ‘refrain from smoking’ as Kyrgios engaged in an entertaining battle against Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.

“It was smoke. Obviously I’m not going to complain about food,” he said. “Obviously when athletes are running side to side and they have asthma, it’s probably not ideal.”

The chair umpire responded by making an announcement to the crowd.

“Ladies and gentlemen as a courtesy to the players please refrain yourselves from smoking around the court,” he said.

Kyrgios served up his familiar array of unexpected shots against Bonzi, with his constant swearing not punished by the umpire despite it being clearly heard on TV microphones, with commentators forced to apologise for his antics.

Kyrgios’ surprise run to his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon was littered with controversy, featuring run-ins with umpires, line judges, the media and even spectators and one incident could end up with a court case.

The big-serving star pointed an accusing finger at a spectator in recent weeks, after he complained to the umpire during the Wimbledon final and suggested a fan who was annoying him had “about 700 drinks”.

That accusation backfired after it was confirmed earlier this month that she is taking legal action against the Australian for defamation.

Kyrgios had complained to the umpire about the behaviour of Anna Palus in his four-set defeat by Novak Djokovic on Centre Court.

Having just received a code violation for swearing, after a spectator called out before his second serve, Kyrgios implored umpire Renaud Lichtenstein to have the woman “who looks like she’s had about 700 drinks bro” ejected.

Palus was briefly removed from the court and later explained that she had only had two drinks.

In a statement released by her solicitors, Brett Wilson LLP, Palus said: “On Sunday July 10, 2022 I attended the final of the Wimbledon tennis Championships with my mother. It was an event we had been looking forward to for some time.

“During the course of the final, Nick Kyrgios made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me. Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena, but Mr Kyrgios’ false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world, causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress.

“I am not litigious, but after much consideration, I have concluded that that I have no alternative but to instruct my solicitors Brett Wilson LLP to bring defamation proceedings against Mr Kyrgios in order to clear my name.

“The need to obtain vindication, and to prevent repetition of the allegation, are the only reasons for taking legal action. Any damages recovered will be donated to charity.

“Given the extant claim, I am unable to comment further on the events of the day in question. I hope that Mr Kyrgios will reflect on the harm he has caused me and my family and offer a prompt resolution to this matter. However, if he is unwilling to do this, I am committed to obtaining vindication in the High Court.”

Kyrgios is also facing common assault charges in Australia, after a former girlfriend made the accusation and he was charged by police last month.

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