World No 1 doubles player Mate Pavic called on crowds at the Australian Open to be more respectful after he and partner Nikola Mektic were knocked out in the second round by home duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The Australians prevailed in straight sets against the top ranked duo on Friday evening amid a raucous and at times heated atmosphere at Melbourne Park.
Pavic’s comments come after Daniil Medvedev criticised sections of the Australian Open crowd following his singles win over Kyrgios on Thursday.
“They are pretty loud,” Pavic said of the home fans. “Obviously they cheer for Aussies. It wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect to all opponents, to other players.
“We saw yesterday also with Medvedev how it was. That’s how they are here. We’re used to that. But like I said, it wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect.”
Kyrgios later claimed the fiery nature of the clash spilled over into the players’ gym, with the coach and trainer of the Croatian duo allegedly threatening to fight him.
“Just letting you know after yesterday’s chop fest in doubles my opponents coach and trainer proceeded to threaten to fight in the players gym,” Kyrgios said on Twitter.
“Tennis is a soft soft sport @TKokkinakis all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball.”
Pavic and Mektic lost the first set 10-8 in a tiebreak before the Australians took the second set 6-3 to advance to the third round, to the delight of the boisterous crowd in the Kia Arena.
“It all went very fast, very loud,” said Mektic. “We barely survived yesterday just to fight another day. It looks like, just the guys played really well. They’re a nasty team to beat here and that’s it. We just fell short.”