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Tennis Star Nick Kyrgios Calls Fault on Cannabis Smell at US Open

Nick Kyrgios was victorious and even smoked marijuana in the US Open’s second round on Wednesday.

Kyrgios was 23rd in Australia and defeated Benjamin Bonzi in 4 sets. This victory gave Kyrgios the opportunity to move on in the annual New York City tennis grand final.

Kyrgios, however was not only tested by his French counterpart. Kyrgios asked for the Louis Armstrong Stadium’s chair umpire’s advice as they switched sides in the second match.

“You don’t want to remind anyone not to do it or anything?” Kyrgios said to the umpire, as quoted by the Associated Press.

CNN reported that the umpire “reminded fans to refrain from smoking around the court as play got back underway.” The smell appeared to be wafting from the concessions in the concourse of the stadium.

“People don’t know that I’m a heavy asthmatic so when I’m running side to side and struggling to breathe already, it’s probably not something I want to be breathing in between points,” Kyrgios said in a post-match interview, as quoted by CNN.

New York has had recreational cannabis legalized for over a year. Public use has also become a common feature of NYC.

The new law allows marijuana to be smoked anywhere cigarette smoking is allowed. That does not apply to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, site of the US Open, which is a strict “smoke free environment.”

New York regulators tried to curb public toking through the creation of other smoke-free shelters. New York’s Governor. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that prohibits “smoking in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps.” And yes, that includes both cigarettes and weed.

“Smoking is a dangerous habit that affects not only the smoker but everyone around them, including families and children enjoying our state’s great public places,” Hochul said in a statement. “I’m proud to sign this legislation that will protect New Yorkers’ health and help reduce litter in public parks and beaches across the state.”

These limits, however, will be tested in New York. The distractions at the US Open are much more numerous than other more peaceful tennis tournaments.

As the Associated Press noted in its match report, the “noise of New York is a challenge for many players, and Kyrgios struggled not only with the chatter of the fans but with the roars of the trains that can be heard from outside the open-air stadium.”

“For someone that’s struggled to focus in my career, I’m really trying hard to put my head down and play point by point, try to dig myself out of some certain situations. It’s hard because there’s a lot of distractions,” Kyrgios said, as quoted by the Associated Press.

“Obviously, a lot of heckling going on as well. There are many opinions. I got to be very careful with what I say these days,” he added.

Kyrgios, a mercurial personality known for on-court outbursts, didn’t appear to get much of a contact high from the ambient cannabis.

He was, per the Associated Press, “his usual animated self during the match, carrying on conversations with himself and people in the seats,” at one point receiving “a warning for using profanity when the target of his anger was somebody in his box who Kyrgios didn’t feel was being supportive enough.”

This was not the first occasion Kyrgios had complained about the behaviour of the crowd. During the Wimbledon final in July, he complained to the umpire about a woman in attendance, saying it “looks like she’s had about 700 drinks.”

Last month, the woman sued Kyrgios alleging that he had defamed and harassed her.