Stefanos Tsitsipas only needed four words to sum up Nick Kyrgios’ biggest issue as the Aussie told everyone how important he is.

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster Wimbledon third-round clash against Nick Kyrgios — and took a sly dig at his next opponent after sealing his latest win.

Tsitsipas defeated Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 to make the last 32 at the All England Club for the second time.

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Kyrgios earlier pulled off an impressive 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 win over Serbian 26th seed Filip Krajinovic to make the last 32 in London for the sixth time.

Kyrgios leads Tsitsipas 3-1 in their head-to-head record, including a victory on grass in Halle earlier this month.

Speaking in his on-court interview, Tsitsipas ended with a cheeky four-word sledge for Kyrgios, who he said fights “when he wants to”.

“I feel like everyone here knows who Nick is,” said Tsitsipas. “We have had many great matches against each other.

“I respect him for his game and the way he fights … when he wants to.”

Tsitsipas took his tongue out of his cheek when answering more queries about Kyrgios in his post-match press conference.

“Nick has more matches than me on this court. He claims to like grass and I think his game is good for the grass,” Tsitsipas said.

“I’m definitely thrilled to be facing him. I respect him a lot on the court, what he is trying to do, although he has been a little bit controversial.

“I think he’s playing good tennis. I’m going to concentrate on doing my thing and paying attention to my own game from start to finish.

“Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive match against him.”

Tsitsipas’ comments came as Kyrgios launched an attack on the media for “disrespecting” him after his win over Krajinovic, and declared he is “one of the most important people in the sport”.

“I didn’t want to remind people that I’m good; I know that I’m good,” Kyrgios said.

“I just feel like people just don’t give me the respect sometimes because of other things that I do.”

Nadal, Swiatek march on

In other matches, Rafael Nadal was again forced to dig deep to reach the Wimbledon third round as women’s top seed Iga Swiatek survived a stumble to win her 37th match on the spin.

Spanish second seed Nadal, chasing a calendar Grand Slam, recovered from losing the third set for the second straight match to beat Lithuanian journeyman Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Earlier, Spanish 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut became the third potential danger man in Nadal’s half of the draw to pull out with Covid, following the withdrawals of 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini and 2017 finalist Marin Cilic.

Nadal has also benefited from a shock first-round exit for Canada’s sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who took him to five sets at the French Open.

Nadal looked comfortable in the first two sets against Berankis but was broken in his first service game of the third set and could not claw his way back.

But the Spaniard regrouped and raced into a 3-0 lead in the fourth set before a sharp rain shower forced the closure of the roof.

When play resumed he eased to victory, firing a 13th ace to seal the win. The 22-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played at Wimbledon since reaching the 2019 semi-finals, admitted he needed to step up his game.

“I didn’t play much on grass in three years,” he said. “It gives me the chance to keep going, so very happy for that.

“I need to improve. The fourth set was much better … I have to keep working, be humble, even when things are not going well.”

Swiatek needed just over two hours to see off Dutch lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Swiatek was in early trouble before winning four games in a row to take the first set but went down a break in the second and could not recover.

In the end, though, Swiatek took charge in the decider, breaking for a 3-1 lead and closing out the match.

She surpasses Monica Seles’ 36-match winning streak from 1990 and matches Martina Hingis’s 37-match winning run from the beginning of the 1997 season.

“I would say the grass is pretty tricky for me, I’m not going to lie,” said Swiatek. “I guess you can see that I’m not playing maybe as efficiently as on other surfaces.

“Basically my confidence is getting better overall. But this tournament is tricky and I’m still feeling out how to play the best game here.”

British wildcard Katie Boulter shocked 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 before dedicating her win to her late grandmother, who died this week.

“I’m probably going to get emotional,” she said. “My grandmother died two days ago so I’d like to dedicate that to her today.”

Women’s fourth seed Paula Badosa set up a clash against two-time champion Petra Kvitova after both had straightforward wins.

With AFP

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