In the words of former Manly coach Geoff Toovey, “There needs to be an investigation”. How is it that on two separate nights inside the same venue music mysteriously began playing while two of the most controversial Australian tennis players were about to serve?
Those north of the border would be shouting conspiracy by now. Like Nick Kyrgios on Friday night, Bernard Tomic was put off by the sound of music playing from somewhere within Rod Laver Arena, although his reaction was significantly different to that of his close friend, who unravelled and subsequently bowed out of the tournament to Tomas Berdych.
“I think Nick’s right, he’s right on that,” Tomic said of the music after overcoming fellow Australian John Millman. “There was some music as well, that I heard as well. I was about to serve for the set at 5-4. I heard this music. I don’t know where it was coming from. You know, it was difficult. It’s not easy because we’re not used to playing.
“It’s not the NBA, where there’s music going in the middle of the game. You know what I mean? It’s like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I can see why it affected Nick last night. I’m glad they turned it off because I would have got mad as well.”
While Kyrgios has worn the full brunt of criticism this tournament, Tomic is no stranger to public scrutiny having lived through it the past five years. He admits he feels some empathy for Kyrgios, however admits he has a vastly different personality.
“I can relate to it. I know what it’s like, obviously what Nick’s going through,” Tomic said. “He does give a lot more emotion out there than other players, even myself. But I do understand what he goes through. Maybe he goes a little over the top sometimes, but that’s him. That’s his personality. He shows emotion like that. I do it differently. I sort of keep it inside me. It takes a lot for me to explode.
“It was getting to me there today with the music, so I can feel for him with the music. I think they turned it off with him … for three, four minutes it was playing. For me they turned it off within a minute, which was good. If they had played a little bit more, I would have showed a bit of Nick today, too.”
Bencic jokes around
There’s plenty to like about teenage Swiss sensation Belinda Bencic. She’s one of the most talented young players on tour, and she’s got a personality to match. Asked what surprised her the most about playing against Russian Maria Sharapova for the first time, the No.12 seed jokingly said: “That her scream is not so loud.”
Williams takes a break
Serena Williams says she’s been bored on this trip to Melbourne, spending most of her time either on court or locked away in her room. But she still makes the effort to get around the city and take her mind off the task of defending her title.
“I went to the botanical gardens, just walking, one day,” she said. “I went to a costume shop the other day. I found a sword that look like He Man. I tried to post on my Snap Chat. I didn’t have service. It was a funny video.
“I love it here in Australia. I mean, I was just thinking Florida has to be cold because of that storm that’s hitting on the East Coast. It was like, we are in really nice weather right now. I don’t want to be a part of that blizzard.”
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