Stan Wawrinka accused Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios of failing to properly apologise for his lurid outburst towards the Swiss star here Wednesday after struggling into the third round of the ATP Cincinnati Masters event.
Kyrgios made worldwide headlines last week after crude remarks concerning Wawrinka’s reported girlfriend, teenager Donna Vekic, during a match against the Swiss ace in Montreal.
World number five Wawrinka admitted the controversy was still on his mind on Wednesday after fighting back from a set down to defeat Croatia’s Borna Coric 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.
Third seed Andy Murray ended the Cincinnati career of retiring Mardy Fish 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) in a post-midnight finish after the rain. Rafael Nadal concluded even later as he defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4.
Kyrgios, who was fined by the ATP for his courtside sledge, later issued a statement apologising for his remarks, insisting they were made “in the heat of the moment.”
However Wawrinka said Kyrgios’s apology didn’t go far enough.
“He didn’t really apologise to the people. He should. That’s it. That simple,” Wawrinka said.
“There was a lot of anger in the locker room about what he did. As a player, you realise more what he did and what is the consequence for the private lives of people involved.
“They were not just a few words. With one sentence, he can touch and hurt a lot of people. I had a lot of support in the locker room, that’s for sure.”
Wawrinka, who is divorcing his wife of six years, insisted however that the ugly controversy would not derail his preparations for the US Open.
“I know how myself, I know how I get ready for a Grand Slam. I know how I deal with everything. I’m sure I’m going to be ready for US Open,” said the double Grand Slam winner.
“It was really important to win this match today. It was not the way I played on the court but the way I fight with little energy that I have. That’s the most important.
“For sure I was struggling today to be completely on the court and to fight the way I wanted. It’s been some tough days for some people, and it’s always difficult to completely focus on the tennis court.”
Kyrgios triggered widespread revulsion for his on-court taunt to Wawrinka that fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis had a fling with WTA professional Vekic.
Vekic, 19, finally made her own response after being dropped into the controversy. “It’s not easy but I’m trying to focus on tennis and my next match,” she told The Province newspaper in Vancouver.
“I haven’t spoken to Kyrgios. But it’s a very disappointing thing to be happening in our sport and I hope it won’t happen again because it’s not a very good image for our sport.”
Wawrinka was joined as a winner by top seed Novak Djokovic, who beat Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2, ending just before rain interrupted play.
The Serb has played and lost four finalist here without winning a set it is the only Masters 1000 title he has not won.
Meanwhile Kokkinakis lost on Wednesday, going down to 12th seed Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, a day after the Frenchman eliminated Kyrgios.
Belgian David Goffin, seeded 13th, beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6 (7/4); the 15th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson defeated Jack Sock 6-3, 7-6 (9/7).
In the women’s draw, last week’s Toronto champion Belinda Bencic continued her run of form, reaching the third round over Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-4.
Serena Williams, whom the Swiss teenager beat in the Canadian semi-finals and runner-up Simona Halep both won.
Holder Williams beat Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-3 while Halep struggled to overcome Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Caroline Garcia beat fourth seed Petra Kvitova 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 after another night rainstorm which pushed finishing time of some matches to after midnight.
Victoria Azarenka upset fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-4. – Agence France-Presse