Australian tennis hero Nick Kyrgios ignited and quickly extinguished his fiery feud with competitor Alexander Zverev last night, thanks to a tweet poking fun at the German star’s between-the-legs prowess.
No, not like that.
First, let’s get a bit of context. World #7 Zverev hung shit on Kyrgios last week, well before the pair embarked on their separate Australian Open campaigns.
Reuters reports Zverev said “I think there’s a lot of young guys that are right now, no offence, just better than him,” adding that Kyrgios doesn’t have the grit to last five sets against the world’s best players.
“To beat the best, you have to play at your best for a longer period of time,” Zverev said.
Kyrgios remained pretty calm about the slight, telling journos “I’m not going to entertain that too much” and “I’m not quite sure where those comments come from.”
The stoush between the players – both of whom are yet to reach their full potential in major tournaments – appeared to have settled down, until Zverev’s first-round match against Italy’s Marco Cecchinato.
While Zverev battled back to win the match 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, he failed in his attempt to execute an audacious “tweener” shot during the match.
Kyrgios, who has made successful tweeners a signature component of his game, managed to pull one off during his own first-round victory over Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
Considering the tensions between Zverev and Kyrgios, and the fact only the latter completed a successful tweener, the official Australian Open Twitter account posted this:
We think @AlexZverev might need a little 'how-to tweener' ????
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 21, 2020
The tweet was practically engineered to engage Kyrgios, who is known to rattle off his thoughts on the platform. And engage he did. The World #26 said “I agree, lots of better tennis players than me, but if you hit tweeners like this, please shush.”
The tweet was swiftly deleted, but not before it was saved for posterity by tennis-lovers who also relish a bit of drama.
Zverev is slated to battle Belarus’ Egor Gerasimov, and Kyrgios has locked in a tie against Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Will those matches produce more tweeners? Will the pair face off at a later point? Will each player rack up a long string of wins, donating an enormous amount of cash to Australian bushfire relief in the process? Will the Australian Open’s social media team cop a raise for some successful shit-stirring? We hope yes, to all points.Image: Clive Brunskill / Daniel Pockett / Getty Images