Nick Kyrgios has let his racquet do the talking to storm into the second round of the US Open in New York.
A day after pointing out tennis players are allowed to smoke marijuana on tour in a wacky Q & A with his Twitter followers, the colorful tennis star smoked Aljaz Bedene in straight sets at Flushing Meadows.
Kyrgios overcame a troublesome hip and an early confrontation with the chair umpire to blast past Brit Bedene 6-4 6-4 6-4 in less than two hours on Tuesday night.
Kyrgios fired down 14 aces and thumped 43 winners in booking a second-round date on Thursday with Argentine Horacio Zeballos.
His victory wasn’t completely incident-free, though, with Kyrgios receiving a code violation in the first game of the match for aggressively hitting a ball, after a rally that the umpire deemed came dangerously close to a linesman.
“You’re giving me a code violation for hitting the ball too hard. I’ve heard it all now,” Kyrgios said. He also refused to shake hands with the chair umpire following the match.
The 14th seed’s routine win came after officials said he wouldn’t be sanctioned for his latest headline-grabbing moment on the eve of the season’s final grand slam event.
Kyrgios offered up a simple “yep” when asked by one of his Twitter followers: “are you allowed to smoke weed on tour?”
And he is correct, with a WADA spokesman confirming that while marijuana “is a prohibited substance for in-competition testing, it has never been prohibited out-of-competition.”
In effect, that means players are okay to smoke marijuana while not competing at tournaments.
During the same snap, two-minute Q & A, Kyrgios also teased that he would walk away from tennis – at just 21 – if he won the US Open on Sunday week.
“If I won the US open now u (sic) would never see me again,” he replied to a fan ahead of his opener against British No.3 Bedene on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).
After sitting out the Rio Olympics following his running battle with Australia’s chef de mission Kitty Chiller, Kyrgios also seemed to have a laugh at the Australian team boss.
Asked who inspired him the most over the Olympics, he replied: “kitty”.
But, as his wont, the two-time grand slam quarter-finalist backed up his pre-tournament banter with an impressive opening to his campaign.