Tennis star Nick Kyrgios was racially abused during defeat by Andy Murray

Andy Murray beat Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals of the Stuttgart Open

Andy Murray beat Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals of the Stuttgart Open (Images: Getty)

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios said he was the victim of racist attacks during his defeat by Andy Murray in Stuttgart.

The Australian looked increasingly frustrated during his 6-7, 2-6 defeat by the Briton in Saturday’s semifinals in Germany.

Kyrgios was punished early in the second set after losing his temper and smashing his racquet.

Kyrgios explained his outburst after the game, writing on Instagram: ‘When will this stop? Dealing with racial slurs from the crowd?

“I understand that my behavior isn’t always for the best – but ‘you little black sheep’, ‘shut up and play’ – such small comments are unacceptable.

“If I take revenge on the crowd, I will be punished. That’s screwed up.’

Murray’s win saw him reach his first Tour-level grass final in six years. The 35-year-old meets Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s final.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, currently ranked 68th in the world, won his last ATP Tour title in 2019.

He said: “It’s been a long time since the last final [on grass].

“Lots of ups and downs but I kept going and working and eventually managed to get to another one. I’m proud of the effort I put into it.”

Murray spoke about Kyrgios’ breakdown before the Australian revealed he had been racially abused, adding: “You always fight both yourself and the opponent, that’s one of the difficult things in individual sport.

Kyrgios was punished for smashing his racquet

Kyrgios was fined for smashing his racket (Picture: Getty)

“Nick has the potential to be one of the best players in the world, there’s no question about that. But of course he was very frustrated in the second set and made it much easier for me.

“I’m happy to be in the final. I played well this week and I have a great chance against Matteo tomorrow.”

The Stuttgart Boss Open is one of a number of grass court events Murray is attending ahead of Wimbledon, which begins on June 27.

Murray has even suggested he could team up with British women’s number one Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles event.

Murray could win his first title on grass since 2016 (Image: Getty)

“We talked about it last year, but we both did well in singles,” Murray said last month. “I would like to play with Emma someday.

“I’m sure we’ll both focus on having good runs in the individual, but yeah – I’d love to do that.”

Raducanu, who rose to fame after winning the US Open last year, is also open to working with Murray.

She said last week: “We haven’t really talked about it but it’s something we think we both want to do. Not sure if this will be the year but hopefully it will happen.

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tennis Tennis star Nick Kyrgios was racially abused during defeat by Andy Murray

Nate Jones

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