(Reuters) - Controversial Nick Kyrgios, who hit the headlines last week when he taunted opponent Stan Wawrinka in Montreal, was crushed 6-2 6-1 by Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Australian Kyrgios appeared distracted for much of a one-sided contest and summoned his trainer for courtside treatment on his back before he was swept aside in just under an hour.
Gasquet, the 12th seed, converted four of his six break points before sealing victory with his fourth ace of the match and will next face 19-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was an integral part of Kyrgios’ taunts last week.
Kyrgios, 20, drew the ire of the tennis world in Montreal after he insulted Wawrinka during a match at the Rogers Cup, saying that Kokkinakis had slept with the Swiss player’s girlfriend.
Though Kyrgios later apologized via Twitter for his comments, he was slapped with two separate fines by the ATP who also raised the possibility that the Australian could be suspended.
Swiss world number three Roger Federer, who launches his title bid in Cincinnati with a second-round match against Spaniard Roberto Bautista later on Tuesday, was critical of Kyrgios’ behavior.
“He definitely crossed the line by a long shot,” Federer told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’re not used to that kind of talk in tennis. It’s normal that the tour comes down hard on him and explains to him that it’s not the way forward.”
In other matches on Tuesday, Sam Querrey beat fellow American John Isner 6-3 7-6(3) in a match-up of big servers and Croatian Borna Coric scraped past Alexander Zverev of Germany 7-5 3-6 7-6(5) in a contest between two teenagers.
“I thought I played well,” said Querrey who will next face Spaniard Tommy Robredo, a 3-6 6-3 6-1 winner against fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
“Returned well. Did everything. Forehand and backhand were solid. Didn’t make many mistakes. I was happy how I played.”
Spaniard left-hander Fernando Verdasco came from a set down to battle past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-3 6-4 after two hours and 15 minutes, his first victory over the Frenchman Tsonga since the 2009 Australian Open quarter-finals.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both