Stefanos, world No. 5 Tsitsipas struck down Nick Kyrgioscalling him a “tyrant” with an “evil side” after a moody third-round match at Wimbledon Saturday.
The Aussiewho won the tense encounter 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7), responded by saying the Greek was ‘sweet’.
Drama and entertainment are never far away when Kyrgios is on the pitch. And it was no different on Court 1 on Saturday.
The tennis shimmered throughout the three-hour, 17-minute match, but it was overshadowed by Kyrgios’ histrionics and Tsitsipas losing his cool.
It all started with Kyrgios, 27, demanding his opponent default after the latter angrily kicked a ball into the stands, despite not hitting any spectators directly, after losing a tightly contested first set.
Kyrgios, who was fined £10,000 for spitting at a spectator during his first-round match, cited the example of Novak Djokovic was disqualified at the 2020 US Open for hitting a linesman.
He called the tournament referee and continued to argue with the referee between points and during breaks on the subject.
Tsitsipas, who received a code violation for the particular incident, began to lose patience and at one point slammed a return to the stands again. He receives a penalty point for repeat offense.
“It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He bullies opponents. He was probably a bully himself at school,” an upset Tsitsipas told reporters after the loss.
“He also has good character traits. But…he also has a very evil side which, if exposed, can really do a lot of harm and harm to the people around him.”
The 23-year-old, who frequently targeted Kyrgiossaid the players had to come together and decide his rival’s behavior on the pitch was no longer acceptable.
“The constant conversations, the constant complaints. I mean, I’m about to serve, and there’s a big gap there that there’s no tennis being played, which is the most important on the pitch,” Tsitsipas said.
“We’re not here to have conversations and dialogues with other people… It’s really silly. The referee has made a decision, how are you even going to change his mind?
“I wish we could all come together and put a rule in place, something about talking. Every point I played today, I felt like something was going on. the other side of the net.
“I know it could be intentional, because he can certainly play in another way. And that’s his way of manipulating the opponent and making you feel distracted, in a way.
“No other player does this. There is no other player who is so upset and frustrated with something all the time.
“I really hope that all of us players can come up with something and make it a cleaner version of our sport, that this kind of behavior is not accepted, not allowed, not tolerated.”
Tsitsipas didn’t hesitate to aim his shots at his rival’s body.
“Just to stop, you know. It’s got to stop. It’s not right,” he said.
“I’m not used to playing that way. But I can’t just sit there and act like a robot and act like someone completely cold and ignorant.
“It’s happened three, four times now… Because you’re doing your job and you hear noise from across the pitch for no absolute reason.”
Kyrgios, who mockingly applauded Tsitsipas after the latter hit a back hand, defended his actions, let alone apologized.
“I don’t know how I intimidated him. He was the one who hit me, he was the one who hit a spectator, he was the one who took him out of the stadium,” he said. he declares.
“I didn’t do anything. Other than going back and forth with the referee for a while, I didn’t do anything towards Stefanos today was disrespectful.
“I was just wondering why he was still on the pitch. Because I know if the tables had been turned I would have been taken off that pitch and defaulted, that’s for sure.”
Kyrgios pointed out that the ball his rival kicked into the stadium ricocheted off the wall and hit a spectator in the head, and asked how it was different from the Djokovic incident.
Tsitsipas had lost to Kyrgios in hall ahead of Wimbledon and the Australian said the former was actually letting his frustration out.
“I would be pretty upset if I lost to someone two weeks in a row as well. Maybe he should figure out how to beat me a few more times first,” Kyrgios said.
“When I’m back home and you see my day to day and who I’m competing with on the basketball court, those guys are dogs.
“People I play with at Wimbledon, they’re not. He (Tsitsipas) is so sweet, to come here and say I bullied him, it’s just sweet.
“If he’s affected by it today, that’s what’s holding him back, because somebody can do it and it’s going to make him lose his game like that. I just think it’s sweet.”
Kyrgios said he had no reason to apologize and didn’t care about the criticism that came in his wake.
“I don’t care. They have to watch me play the fourth round of Wimbledon. I’ve got a nice paycheck this week too, so I don’t care,” he said.
“I’m just doing my business. I’ll be confident. I’ll prepare and keep playing the way I know how to play.
“I saw him work on his backhand return yesterday, and he hit the back fence. I said, good shot.
“The circus was all him today… just think he’s playing this game against me, like he’s got serious, like serious issues.
“I’m good in the dressing room. I have a lot of friends, just so you know. I’m actually one of the most beloved. I’m ready.
“He’s not liked. Let’s just put that there.”