The Farcical Serve That Sums Up The Kyrgios-Tomic Problem
Another day, another controversy.
It was slated as being the big Aussie blockbuster in the lead up to the Australian Open.
For the first time in their careers, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios would face off on opposite sides of the net.
It may have only been an exhibition match at the Kooyong Classic, but it was a chance for home fans to see the bad boys of Australian tennis on their road to redemption.
Except the whole thing lasted just 45 minutes, with Tomic taking out a straight sets win 6-3 6-4.
And it is the winning serve on match point that has tongues wagging over its ridiculousness.
While setting up to serve, Tomic appears to discard an unwanted ball by hitting it away.
Only it goes straight over the net and into the opposing service box, before bouncing twice.
Even the umpire seems bemused, before announcing a stilted 'game, set and match'.
With a shrug of the shoulders, Kygrios accepts the controversial defeat.
What were chuckles coming from the crowd soon turn to boos, as the fans take in Kygrios' body language and attitude towards the end of the match.
While there is no rule against serving underhand, the International Tennis Federation has rules about the ball bouncing before being served.
"The server shall then release the ball by hand in any direction and hit the ball with the racket before the ball hits the ground," section 16 of the ITF rules says.
Meaning, this 'serve' by Tomic appears to be illegal as it is hit on the bounce.
Aside from this controversial end, the two were called out for appearing to not even be trying, particularly Kygrios, and not giving paying-fans the show they were after.
The Kooyong Classic is a revered competition in Australian sport, played in the week before the Open.
Eight players are invited to the event, which is played over three days.
Lleyton Hewitt won the event twice -- once in 2011 and most memorably at his farewell tournament in 2013.
Even Tomic has a Kooyong title, taking out the competition in 2012 -- making it a three-year clean sweep for Australia.
For two players that are both on record as saying they don't even like the sport, this latest display isn't reassuring for Aussie fans.
Despite the boos from the Aussie crowd, fans will have something to cheer for at the Australian Open next week.
Ash Barty is our highest-ranked player, coming in as the 15th women's player in the world. While Tomic and Kyrgios were playing at Kooyong, Barty was taking out a straight sets win over world number one Simona Halep at the Sydney International.
In the men's, young gun Alex de Minaur is steadily climbing the ladder after bursting on to the scene last year. While John Millman will forever be a fan favourite after beating Roger Federer at the US Open in 2018.
Feature Image: AAP