Nick Kyrgios is happy to wear the weight of crowd expectations on court – but draws the line at racist outbursts.
The Australian who copped a few insults at the weekend as he lost a Stuttgart semi-final to Andy Murray, was much more comfortable with northern German fans in Halle as he reached the second round on the grass 6-3, 7-5 over Daniel Altmaier on Tuesday.
Kyrgios might have played down his unpleasant fan interaction three days ago, but he finds it hard to just gloss over.
“I’ve been dealing with it (racism) for the last few years. At Indian Wells someone screamed (something racist) at Naomi Osaka and it affected the match.
“I’m not gonna stand for racism. It’s not easy for me to brush it off. It’s hard to just move on from something like that.”
The No. 65 added: “You’ve got to have a short term memory in this game.
“I can deal with the heckling and nasty things that are said, I’ve played in some brutal conditions. But racism – we can’t stand for that as players.”