A furious Stefanos Tsitsipas lashed out at Nick Kyrgios after the duo’s fiery clash at Wimbledon, accusing the Aussie of ‘harassment’ and having a ‘very evil side’.
Tsitsipas, seeded No. 4 in the men’s singles, was swept away in an epic four-set match between the two men, but the match was not without controversy, as is often the case when Kyrgios is involved.
The drama began at the end of the second set, when a frustrated Tsitsipas sent a ball into the stands after the Aussie equalised.
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The bullet appeared to ricochet off a wall, but what wasn’t entirely clear was if it had landed on anyone. The Greek star drew a warning from chair umpire Damien Dumusois for the incident, which caused Kyrgios to see red.
The Australian wanted to see Tsitsipas default, like Novak Djokovic at the US Open in 2020, and threatened to stop playing until each of the tournament supervisors took to the pitch to discuss the matter.
Tsitsipas was visibly irritated after the incident, deliberately firing three shots at the Australian’s body in frustration. He was given two of the three code violations given by Dumusois throughout the game for abusing the ball, eventually earning a penalty point.
Tsitsipas ensured the fireworks between the two would continue after the game, when he unleashed Kyrgios in an unprecedented tirade during his press conference.
“It’s constant bullying. He bullies his opponents. He was probably a bully in school too…I don’t like bullies. He has a very evil side to him,” he said about the Aussie’s behavior.
Kyrgios seals Wimbledon epic against Tsitsipas
“In a way, it felt like a circus. You’ve had enough. The constant conversations. The constant complaints. We’re here to play tennis, not to have dialogues.”
Tsitsipas suggested he was far from the only player on the tour to tire of Kyrgios’ antics, a claim the Aussie refuted immediately afterwards in his own presser.
“I don’t know how I could bully someone in the third round of Wimbledon. I was just playing tennis,” he said.
“He was the one who was hitting balls at me. He was the one who hit a spectator. Other than going back and forth with the referee, I didn’t do anything disrespectful to him.
“I’m good in the dressing room. I have a lot of friends, just so you know. I’m actually one of the most liked. I’m ready. He’s not liked, let’s put it there.”
Kyrgios also took aim at the ‘sweet’ Greek superstar for his outstretched handshake at the end of the game.
“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,” he said.
“The people I play with at Wimbledon, they’re not. He’s so sweet, to come here and say I bullied him, it’s just sweet. We’re not cut from the same cloth.
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“I can officially say that I have never given a handshake like this in my life. Every time I lost, when I defaulted against (Casper) Ruud, I watched people in their eyes and I said, ‘Well done today, you were the better man’, and he wasn’t man enough to do that today.”
Kyrgios is set to face young American Brandon Nakashima in the next round, with a potential all-Australian clash against compatriot Alex de Minaur on deck if he wins it.
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