Australian Nick Kyrgios has hit back at Matthew Johns after the rugby league great tore shreds off the tennis star for his most recent implosion.
Speaking after Kyrgios walked off the court after losing the first set to American Steve Johnson at the Shanghai Masters this week in an apparent protest against the chair umpire, Johns told the Triple M Grill Team it was "bulls***" and "disgraceful behaviour".
"It's embarrassing behaviour. It's offensive, the deliberate lack of effort from this individual," Johns said.
Kyrgios responded to Johns on Twitter with a sledge that referenced the former NSW Origin star's involvement in a group sex scandal 15 years ago.
Johns has admitted he and other Cronulla Sharks teammates had sex with a woman in a hotel while on a pre-season tour of New Zealand in 2002. The woman claimed she suffered emotional trauma as a result, telling the ABC's Four Corners program in 2009: "I only remember one player definitely, it was Matthew Johns. He laughed and he joked and was very loud and boisterous."
Johns was stood down from his role on Channel Nine's NRL Footy Show at the time the revelations were made public.
JOHNS TAKES DOWN KYRGIOS
Kyrgios was reportedly overheard telling supporters mid-match he'd be ending the contest against Johnson early if he didn't claim the first set, shortly before losing in a tiebreak.
His behaviour while representing Australian tennis on an international scale has always been a hot topic of debate among fans, sports stars and commentators, and it was no different this time around.
Johns and Mark Geyer didn't shy down from giving the World No. 21 a beating on Triple M Thursday morning.
"It's embarrassing behaviour," Johns said. "It's offensive, the deliberate lack of effort from this individual."
Johns said he was fed up with people defending Kyrgios' "honest" comments about not enjoying his job as an international tennis star.
"That is bulls***," Johns said. "This bloke ... it's just disgraceful behaviour. People pay good money to watch this match. He tells supporters courtside that if he loses the first set he's going to walk off, does it, then tries to go and apologise on Twitter saying he's got a tummy bug. Please."
Johns used Socceroos Tim Cahill's two-goal performance in Australia's World Cup Qualifier against Syria as a comparison.
"You've got a 38-year-old bloke playing for the Socceroos who ran up and down the pitch non-stop to qualify," he said. "Then there's this bloke (Kyrgios) whose young and in his prime and just won't dig in one little bit."
Geyer threw his two cents in after Johns' spray, suggesting Kyrgios' antics were bordering on illegal.
"It's even pushing the boundaries of match-fixing. If some people are hearing him say that ... it's in match-fixing territory," Geyer said.
"My favourite player growing up was John McEnroe. I hate when people compare Nick Kyrgios to him. McEnroe never walked off the court after losing a set and said 'I've got a stomach ache'.
"He was a brat, but he was a really good brat who won a lot of tournaments. Kyrgios has got no intestinal fortitude."
Kyrgios' blockbuster exit to the 2017 was a disappointing piece of deja vu for fans, who had to endure a similar walkout from the Aussie star against Mischa Zverev in Shanghai last year.
He was fined $40,000 by the ATP for his walk-off against Johnson.