Nick Kyrgios has never had a dull match, and part of that is by design. The ever-passionate Australian defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon on Saturday, but not before halting play for several minutes to chide the umpire after Tsitsipas casually sent a backhand into the crowd, possibly hitting a fan.
Kyrgios took issue with the move and asked the umpire to default Tstisipas. When the umpire made no indication of booting Tsitsipas from the match, Kyrgios stopped play to yell at the umpire and refused to play for several minutes.
Kyrgios’ yelling came after he lost the first set 7-6(2) in a tiebreaker. He went on to win the next three sets 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7).
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An excerpt from Kyrgios’ profanity-laced rant:
Is that a default or what? He just hit the ball at the f—ing crowd. Are you dumb? So you can hit a ball at the crowd, hit someone and not get defaulted? Are you dumb?
He continued. “You’re a disgrace. You change the rules whenever you want … Give me all the supervisors. I’m not playing until we get to the bottom of it.”
Kyrgios now wants Tsitsipas to be defaulted for hitting someone in the crowd.
“Give me all the Supervisors. I’m not playing until we get to the bottom of it”.
Remembers Djokovic’s US Open default, says this one is similar.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 2, 2022
The U.S. Open default that Kyrgios referenced occurred in 2020. Novak Djokovic was kicked out for hitting a lineswoman in the throat with a ball he had deflected in frustration.
Kyrgios said the Tsitsipas hit was similar. He claimed a fan was struck in the back of the head.
The entire match was heated and had several high-tension moments: a cheeky Kyrgios served between the legs when Tsitsipas was off guard, and Tsitsipas spiked a ball at the net, seemingly right at Kyrgios.
kyrgios is the king of I don’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuuu and my god it’s incredible pic.twitter.com/hp3XwyhU8D
— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) July 2, 2022
Things are getting heated in the Kyrgios-Tsitsipas match at Wimbledon 😳 pic.twitter.com/F1H0l3SU2Y
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 2, 2022
Tsitsipas was highly critical of Kyrgios after the match, and he pulled no punches in talking about Kyrgios’ demeanor. He also confirmed he was trying to hit Kyrgios on the spike.
“I was aiming for the body of my opponent but I missed by a lot, by a lot,” Tsitsipas said when he was asked about the hit, which he received a point penalty for. He further elaborated on why. “Just to stop, you know. This needs to stop. It’s not okay,” he explained. “Like, someone needs to sit down with him and talk … There is frustration behind that, for sure.”
Tsitsipas was also asked about shaking hands from Kyrgios after the match (which he did).
“…It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does,” he said. “He bullies the opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like people that put other people down … The handshake part, well deserved, well done for the great match, for sure, I need to congratulate my opponent. It’s a thing I have been doing my entire life. I have never finished the match and not given my hand to the opponent simply because of his performance.”
Kyrgios advanced to play Brandon Nakashima in the fourth round. He will look to match his career best in a singles Grand Slam with a quarterfinal appearance. He won the Australian Open doubles title earlier this year.