Italian Open: Kyrgios disqualified, Federer advances

After making controversial statements about Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on a tennis podcast, Australian Nick Kyrgios forfeit his match against Casper Ruud after a mid-court meltdown.

Roger Federer

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning his match against Croatia's Borna Coric.   -  Reuters

Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios was disqualified from the Italian Open after an expletive-laden rant on Thursday as defending champion Rafael Nadal swept into the third round along with top seed Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Kyrgios grabbed the headlines when he suffered a spectacular meltdown on Court Three against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud.

The controversial 24-year-old, who had marked his presence in Rome by criticising Djokovic and Nadal in an interview on Wednesday, started arguing with the umpire in the third set.

READ | Kyrgios tears into 'cringeworthy' Djokovic and 'super salty' Nadal

World number 36 Kyrgios had levelled the match at one set all but was given a game penalty early on in the third set for swearing.

His response was to kick out at a water bottle before throwing a chair onto the court, packing his bag and then storming off court, shouting I am f**king done.''

Kyrgios was automatically disqualified with Ruud winning 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 2-1 to advance to the third round against former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.

 

Kyrgios had already been at the centre of controversy during Wednesday's washout when he told the NCR Tennis Podcast that Djokovic had “a sick obsession with wanting to be liked” and that the Serb's post-match celebration was “cringeworthy”.

Nadal was described by the Australian as “super-salty”.

READ | French Open: Nadal is the favourite, says Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

- Federer cruises ahead -

World number three Roger Federer saved two match points to advance past Croatian Borna Coric into the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

 Federer came through 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) against 13th seed Coric after earlier beating Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3 in the second round to make up time after rain wiped out play on Wednesday.

Federer, a four-time finalist in Rome, next meets either Greek eighth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or Italian Fabio Fognini, seeded 10th, for a place in the semi-finals.