THE BREAK: Kyrgios Talks Mental Health Journey

Australia's Nick Kyrgios is defending himself following yet another meltdown on court, saying he received abuse from the crowd during his Stuttgart semifinal.

The 27-year-old went down, 7-6 (5), 6-2, against Andy Murray, receiving a warning during the first-set tiebreaker when he hit a ball into the crowd and then and a point penalty for breaking his racquet. In the second set, Kyrgios got into an argument with a spectator and received a game penalty.

But on social media, Kyrgios he had heard a ‘racial slur’ by a fan.

“When is this going to stop? Dealing with racial slurs from the crowd?” Kyrgios wrote.

“I understand that my behavior isn’t the best all the time – but ‘you little black sheep’, ‘shut up and play’ – little comments like this are not acceptable. When I retaliate to the crowd, I get penalized. This is messed up.”


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Nick Kyrgios (@k1ngkyrg1os) • Instagram photos and videos

The 35-year-old Murray said that Kyrgios is among the most talented players but his frequent on-court displays of anger are hurting his career.

“Nick has the potential to be one of the best players in the world, there’s absolutely no question about that. But yeah, he obviously got very frustrated in the second set and made it a lot easier for me,” Murray said upon reaching his first final in more than three years.

On Sunday, BOSS Open organizers released a statement ensuring "no discriminatory statements on the part of viewers will be accepted" and that the incident was being investigated.

"The ATP tournament in Stuttgart stands for creating an integrative environment for all players, coaches, visitors and employees in which discrimination - of any kind - has no place. This attitude is lived by those responsible and therefore has top priority for the event, as does compliance with sporting values ​​such as fairness, tolerance and team spirit," it read.

"We have expressed our regret to Nick Kyrgios and his team at what has happened and have assured him that we do not accept such behavior."

Kyrgios is slated to continue his grass-court season this week in Halle, where he drew German Daniel Altmaier.