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Tennis

Djokovic returns serve over Kyrgios comments

Tennis

World No.1 Novak Djokovic says it was unnecessary of Nick Kyrgios to drag him into a verbal stoush with match umpire Carlos Ramos over a controversial code violation call.

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Kyrgios took exception to being handed a warning for yelling “towel” at a ball boy during his first-round victory over Italy’s Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros on Sunday.

The incident sparked a war of words with the respected Ramos, who has overseen finals at all four grand slams, with Kyrgios referencing Djokovic going unpunished despite pushing away a match umpire when challenging a call in Rome earlier this month.

The fiery Australian accused Ramos of “unbelievable bias” and said the code violation call was “f**king bulls**t” during his exchanges on the court.

Post-match he said there would be “a circus” if he pushed an umpire in the manner that Djokovic had done recently.

The 11-time grand slam champion was hesitant to fire back at Kyrgios, saying it is the rising star’s choice to make such comments – but questioned whether it was necessary to do so.

“Well, I saw that. I saw that particular situation that happened in his match,” Djokovic said.

“What can I say? It’s his choice that he wants to bring it out there. I don’t know what he has done.

“I don’t know the nature of his gestures on the court and why he got a code violation, whether or not it was only for the towel or maybe something before that happened.

“I’m not getting into it. It’s completely his choice.

“So, you know, by mentioning my name, I don’t think it was necessary, but again, I’ve got to respect his choice.”

While Kyrgios copped a code violation, he escaped a fine from the ITF who deemed the on-court actions sufficient.

-AAP

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