Nick Kyrgios went into full meltdown in his opening Wimbledon match, insulting a line judge before turning his anger towards the fans.
A fiery Nick Kyrgios has narrowly survived a five-set scare as he battled through his first round match at Wimbledon.
The Aussie tennis star beat Brit Paul Jubb 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5 in a match that was more notable for his astonishing sprays at the umpire and a line judge than the tennis itself.
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Kyrgios branded one line judge a “snitch” who “has no fans” in the opening minutes of the highly-charged tie — and continued with his comments towards the umpire and some British fans as the match went on.
At one stage when a lineswoman spoke to chair umpire Marija Cicak about something, the Canberran told her: “Has one person today come here to see her speak? Not one person. I know you’ve got fans but she’s got none.”
Kyrgios dedicated the win to the “rowdy” members of the crowd who criticised him during the match.
“I thought I was going to go down there for a bit and it would have been tough to take,” he said.
“There were a couple of people not shy of criticising me — that one’s for you.
“You know who you are.”
Kyrgios admitted in his post-match press conference to spitting in the direction of spectators who had been giving him grief after match point.
“In the direction of one of the people disrespecting me, yes,” he said when asked if he spat towards the crowd. “I would not do that to someone who was supporting me.”
Asked about his temperament during the match and whether he would consider a career in commentary after he retires, Kyrgios said: “I just talk a lot.
“Off the court I’m not too bad, on court I’m different. But if they pay me enough I’ll probably do it.”
In the middle of the third game of the opening set, the Aussie’s war of words with officials began. Kyrgios had grown frustrated with people talking between points and his anger boiled over when a line judge approached the chair umpire.
At the changeover, courtside microphones picked up Kyrgios calling the line judge a “snitch” who “has no fans”.
British broadcaster Piers Morgan took aim at Kyrgios on Twitter a couple of times during the match. “Kyrgios is such a d**k,” he wrote, before going even further when he called the line judge a “snitch”.
“UPDATE: Kyrgios has upgraded himself from massive d**k to nasty bully,” Morgan added.
The at-times volatile Aussie completely lost it after his serve was broken and he clobbered a ball out of the Court 3 stadium. He was handed a ball abuse warning for the act.
Kyrgios’ frustration got the better of him as a level-headed Jubb claimed the opening set 6-3 with fans watching from the edge of their seats.
However, in standard Kyrgios fashion, the Aussie completely flipped the script in the second set by taking it 6-1.
His dominance was on full display as he broke Jubb’s serve multiple times and dominated behind his own serve.
As the second set rolled on the Aussie was motivating himself after every point he won, but it didn’t stop the chatter during changeovers between him and the chair umpire.
Kyrgios’ words towards the line judge continued after a check on one of his serves. The Aussie was heard saying she was “the worst I’ve ever seen” and telling her to “get off the court” as her call was overruled.
The Aussie eventually took the third set 7-5.
But he lost his stranglehold of the match in the fourth set, losing a tiebreak before launching into a spray at the umpire about a let call.
It was more of the same in the fifth set, as Kyrgios threw away an opportunity to serve out the match — with Jubb breaking back.
But Kyrgios’ experience shone through as he broke Jubb’s serve again to win the fifth set 7-5.