Kyrgios' dark side returns in row over towel

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios' outburst came after the Australian seemed to be reinventing himself as a crowd favourite in the weeks following his Wimbledon defeat by Rafael Nadal. AFP
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Nick Kyrgios looked to have turned over a new leaf in recent weeks, his playful banter with fans and improved focus helping him produce some of his best tennis, but his dark side returned in Montreal on Tuesday thanks to a row over a white towel.

The volatile Australian, who won the Citi Open in Washington on Sunday, was dumped out of the opening round of the Rogers Cup by Britain's Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-4 after an angry exchange with the umpire saw him collect a code violation for an obscenity.

Kyrgios had asked the umpire before the match if he could be given a white towel instead of the tournament's branded one and the 24-year-old threw a tantrum when he realised five games into the match his request had not been met.

"I'm not allowed to leave the chair," the umpire said after the angry Australian had asked him to get the towel.

"You're telling me that you can't radio in just for one white towel?" a seething Kyrgios replied.

A ball boy finally handed Kyrgios a white towel, but it did little to help the Australian's cause with Edmund putting on a serving masterclass to advance.

Kyrgios' outburst comes after the Australian seemed to be reinventing himself as a crowd favourite in the weeks following his Wimbledon defeat by Rafael Nadal.

The superb tennis Kyrgios played in that match won him new admirers and the Australian has fed off the crowd at subsequent tournaments, sharing jokes with fans and even asking them where he should serve.

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