Australian Open 2021: Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios melts down at Murray River Open

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has started the new year with one of his traditional tantrums at the Murray River Open. 

Kyrgios walked off court briefly and refused to play, after being called for a dubious time-violation. 

The 25-year-old was serving with the scores tied at 5-5 in the second set against Australian Harry Bourchier, when chair umpire Nacho Forcadell called him for not serving before the shot-clock went off. 

The Australian complained throughout the contest about the serve clock running while players retrieved their towels from the back of the court - a role no longer performed by ball kids, due to COVID-19 rules - and the issue boiled over at the end of the second set.

"I just started serving, that's my motion, what are you talking about?" he told Forcadell.

"My motion starts here, mate. I'm not playing, get the supervisor out, I want to see him.

"I was serving, why do you have to call it? 

"Do you think it's funny? Is that why you do it?

"I was serving, so every motion is the same? Every technique is different."

Kyrgios got his wish, when supervisor Cedric Mourier came onto the court and allowed the Australian to explain himself.

"I saw the clock, it was at 3, 2, 1, as at 1, I'm pulling my serve and he calls time violation," he told Mourier. "I wasn't bouncing the ball, I was serving, so it's ridiculous. 

"The tennis isn't about him. He's an extra to make sure all this sh*t goes smoothly, so why does he feel the need to do that?"

The match continued, but Bourchier was frustrated that Kyrgios couldn't wait until a break to discuss the time violation.

"I wanted to talk about it now," Kyrgios says. "I've lost enough money to these peanuts."

The year's first Grand Slam - the Australian Open - begins on Monday.