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Hats Off To Nick Kyrgios For This Touching Act Which Was Totally Misunderstood

Have we forgotten how to have a laugh?

He's not always Mr Belligerent, you know?

Nick Kyrgios had one of his trademark blow-ups at the Miami Open, or so it seemed. In his third round match against Croatian Ivo Varlovic, the famously feisty Canberran blew up at a ballboy who threw a ball which landed at his feet, making it a little tricky to scoop up with his racquet.

"How am I supposed to catch that?" Kyrgios protested. "You're throwing it at my feet, bro. My feet."

The crowd booed. This was the moment which never seems far away in any Kyrgios match. The 21-year-old turned to the crowd and tried to explain his way out of the situation.

"I was having a joke with him," he said. "It was a joke."

The crowd was not sold. The booing continued. So did the match, which for the record, Kyrgios won. When it was over, Kyrgios did something which won the crowd over.

He turned to the ball boy, and in a lovely display of humour and affection, he put his hand on the boy's shoulder, handed him his towel as a keepsake, then turned the boy's cap around from forwards-facing to backwards-facing. Which was cool.

Kyrgios has been in pretty good form of late in hard courts tournaments in America. He beat Novak Djokovic twice within two weeks, and has made the quarters or semis of his last three tournaments.

He's now in the quarters at Miami. Oh, did we mention he played one of his trademark forward-facing tweeners? (Most players only play the shot as a last resort when chasing a ball running away from the net.)

If Kyrgios beats eighth seed David Goffin in his next match, he will likely face Roger Federer in the semis. Federer and Kyrgios were due to meet last week, but the Aussie pulled out due to illness.

Here's hoping his body stays strong -- the way his behaviour and tennis game have been lately.


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