Nick Kyrgios is known as much for his on-court performances as for his off-court shenanigans. And on Thursday he lived up to his reputation, as he got into a feud with Casper Ruud on social media before losing his Atlanta second-round match tamely to Cameron Norrie.
Kyrgios has been at loggerheads with Ruud ever since the two played each other at the 2019 Italian Open. Kyrgios got disqualified from that match for throwing a chair on to the court in anger, after which Ruud claimed that the Aussie acted like an "idiot".
That didn't sit well with Kyrgios, who reacted to Ruud's comment with a tirade of his own on Twitter. The 26-year-old asserted that he would "rather watch paint dry than watch Ruud play tennis," before accusing the Norwegian of trying to stay in the news by mouthing off about him.
Nick Kyrgios again made a jibe at Casper Ruud a few weeks ago, in response to a tweet by the official ATP handle. Kyrgios remarked that the post-Wimbledon claycourt swing brought in "zero hype", and also opined that many players - including Ruud - were there just for easy pickings.
The feud between Nick Kyrgios and Casper Ruud reached a fever pitch on Thursday though. It all started with an ATP tweet which posted the semifinal line-up for the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel - which again included Ruud. Kyrgios replied to the tweet with a "facepalm" emoji, implying that he didn't believe the Norwegian had earned it.
That seemed to be the final straw for Casper Ruud, who hit back at Nick Kyrgios in a separate post made by the ATP's Twitter handle. When the governing body asked fans to send in their questions for Kyrgios, Ruud trolled the Aussie by asking:
"What’s his favorite clay court tournament?"
Kyrgios certainly didn't take kindly to that, and immediately posted a reply to the Norwegian's tweet. Kyrgios' retort, however, was equal parts inappropriate and juvenile, and was deleted by the Aussie after a few minutes.
"Your mum," was all that his reply said.
Nick Kyrgios followed that up with a more PG-13 comeback. In a separate tweet, he accused Casper Ruud of "stealing points" by playing the ATP 250 claycourt events in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel.
Nick Kyrgios fails to back up his words as he loses to Cameron Norrie soon after feuding with Casper Ruud
Nick Kyrgios failed to walk the talk later in his Round-of-16 in Atlanta later in the evening. The Aussie was eliminated from the 2021 Truist Atlanta Open by Cameron Norrie in straight sets.
Casper Ruud, on his part, will be going for a third consecutive ATP title in Kitzbuhel. He has already reigned supreme in Bastad and Gstaad over the last two weeks, and at the time of writing he is in the Kitzubel semifinals - where he will take on Arthur Rinderknech.