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Wednesday August 17th, 2022 1:30AM

Kyrgios says he faced racist abuse from crowd in Murray loss

By The Associated Press
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STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Nick Kyrgios said he faced racist abuse from the crowd during a semifinal loss to Andy Murray at the Stuttgart Open on Saturday.

The Australian posted on Instagram following the 7-6 (5), 6-2 loss to Murray that he had heard abusive comments from the stands.

“When is this going to stop? Dealing with racial slurs from the crowd?” he wrote on Instagram. “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 penalised. This is messed up."

Kyrgios was given a point penalty for breaking his racket at the end of the first-set tiebreaker, and then a game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second set after he approached the crowd and appeared to ask: “What did you say?” Kyrgios then sat down and did not continue the match until he had spoken with the tournament supervisor.

Murray will play his first grass-court singles final since winning Wimbledon in 2016 when he plays second-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini in Sunday's final.

Murray stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals on Friday, the first win for Murray in six years against an opponent ranked in the top five.

It's the second final of 2022 for Murray, who lost to Aslan Karatsev at the hard-court Sydney Tennis Classic in January, and the first time that he has reached two finals in the same season since 2017. Murray, who has struggled to get back to his best following hip surgery, last won a tour singles title at the European Open in Belgium in 2019 and has a 46-23 record in finals.

Berrettini prevailed 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) over Oscar Otte in a tight match with no breaks of serve. Berrettini saved a set point in the first-set tiebreaker and needed three match points to close out the win.

Murray and Berrettini each won one of their two career meetings, with Berrettini the victor in their only grass-court match at Queen's Club last year.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP Sports - Men's Tennis
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