Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas were involved in one of the most bitter matches ever to honor the sacred stage of Wimbledon, after the Australian demanded that the number four seed be disqualified for throwing a ball in the crowd and the Greek admitted that he deliberately tried his ‘evil’ opponent.
In a heated and sharp clash in the third round at Court One, Kyrgios and Tsitsipas received warnings from the referee and regularly vented their frustration – both with officials and with each other – before the hostility spilled over into the post-match press conference.
Tsitsipas did not hold his own in his opinion of Kyrgios, and struck the world number 40 as a ‘bulger’ who had an ‘evil’ side to him.
“It’s constant bullying,” said the Greek. ‘He was probably a bully at school. I do not like bullying. He has a very bad side to him. ‘
Kyrgios had said he had ‘love’ and ‘enormous respect’ for Tsitsipas in his field interview after his 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6, but hit back at his opponent in response on the bullying remark.
‘I’m not sure how I pestered him. He was the one who hit me with balls, ‘he said. ‘He was the one who hit a spectator. Except for going back and forth with the referee, I did nothing disrespectful to him.
‘The circus was him today. He has some serious problems. I like being in the locker room, he’s not. ‘
Nick Kyrgios’s got angry with the referee after Stefanos Tsitsipas had to leave the fray
Stefanos Tsitsipas had tried to keep it all cool, but lost it at the end of the second and then lost the third set
Kyrgios had called the referee a ‘disgrace’ after he refused to give Tsitsipas a standard, who hit a backhand in the stands that a female spectator barely missed after losing the second set.
“Are you dumb?” sei Kyrgios. “That’s a standard, brother.”
When the referee refused to bow to his requests, Kyrgios – who proved his usual controversial self in the first week of Wimbledon after a number of high-profile incidents including rows with umpires and audience members – briefly refused to play as he continued to demand Tsitsipas be thrown out of the tournament.
‘Is that a standard or something? He just hit the ball on the f ****** audience, ‘said Kyrgios. ‘Are you dumb? That you can hit a ball on the crowd, hit someone and not fall?
‘You’re a disgrace. You can change the rules as you wish.
‘Give me all the supervisors. I’m not playing until we get down there. ‘
Some of his antics clearly frustrated Stefanos Tsitsipas who was dragged into the saga
The referee revealed to Kyrgios, who even in his career had hit an audience member with a foul ball, that he could not standard Tsitsipas, because the ball actually did not hit anyone.
The number four seed received a code violation warning for his behavior before later getting another code violation and conceding a point when he hit the ball away again in frustration – which he later admitted to targeting Kyrgios.
After Kyrgios put out another save under the arms in the third set, the Greek clearly became even more angry and hit the ball just feet below the first row of spectators behind the baseline.
The referee called Kyrgios and Tsitsipas and spoke to them to try to regulate the proceedings, as the match threatened to fall into a farce, with both players feeling that the world was against them.
The pair shared a quick handshake on the net towards the end of an exciting and sharp match
Former players Pat Cash and John Lloyd, who commented on the match for the BBC, believed that Kyrgios was lucky enough to avoid being exposed to his antics.
After Kyrgios sealed the victory, Cash – who had behaved badly during his own playing days – said his fellow Aussie ‘should not even have been on the pitch’.
Lloyd was also angry about Kyrgios’ behavior and questioned the spirit in which he had played the game.
The Australian received a fine of just over £ 8,000 for the spit incident during his match in the first round with Paul Jubb on Tuesday. Kyrgios accused the supporter in whose direction he spat of being disrespectful to him during his narrow win in five sets.
Kyrgios had previously become angry at the referee in his encounter with Tsitsipas after one of his shots was called out at a crucial stage in the first set.
Tsitsipas was dragged along with the referee and his opponent in the saga and his tennis suffered as a result
Tsitsipas grew more and more frustrated when Kyrgios demanded back-to-back sets on Court One
‘It’s all 5-5 brother, it’s 5-5 all brother. So get a new one, get a new referee, ‘he shouted.
‘Bro, you have to make the right call, you will not get credit unless you make the right call. You just say sorry and it’s all right? It’s f *** ing … why do not you just get a new referee? He has one line to call brother. ‘
Tsitsipas had tried to keep it cool while Kyrgios roared in the first set, but it all came to a head at the end of the second when he hit the ball away. It is clear that the hostility and frustration still ran deep in Tsitsipas when he then dropped the third set.
In the fourth, after losing on Tsitsipas’ save to fall 3-2 in the set, Kyrgios turned his frustration to his team at the other end of the court.
Kyrgios in conversation with an official demands that Tsitsipas become standard
He demanded to know why they had not ‘changed’ anything from the first set after Tsitsipas watched his service game with complete ease.
The fourth set went the distance with Kyrgios eventually going 9-7 in a tie break to ensure he advanced to the fourth round.
The match is likely to be the subject of much debate in the coming days, with pundits and other players likely to have a lot to say about the behavior of the Australian in particular.
It was probably not a surprise to see that the match was played out that way. Kyrgios’ antities are known, but Tsitsipas has also had his share of controversy.
The Greek infamously launched an epic tantrum at the ATP Cup in 2020 when he lost to Kyrgios, beat his coach and barely missed his own father with idiosyncratic balls – and received a lecture from his mother for his behavior.
The duo have enjoyed a hate-love relationship in recent years, with clashes on social media coming after they played doubles together in 2019.
Nick Kyrgios is called a ‘bully’ and ‘evil’ by Stefanos Tsitsipas
Source link Nick Kyrgios is called a ‘bully’ and ‘evil’ by Stefanos Tsitsipas