Australia’s Nick Kyrgios advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2016 with a gritty 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) victory against fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.
After losing the high-intensity third-round match, Tsitsipas accused the maverick Australian Kyrgios of being a bully and possessing an “evil side” in his post-match press conference.
Kyrgios recovered from losing a first-set tie-break to win 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) to win a match featuring code violations, a point penalty and numerous rows with officials.
At one point Kyrgios even demanded his opponent be defaulted for smashing a ball into the crowd in a bad-tempered affair.
“It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. 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. He has some good traits in his character, as well. But he also has a very evil side to him, which if exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him,” Tsitsipas was quoted as saying by Skysports.
In a match of frayed nerves, tension started to build at the end of the first set when Kyrgios was unhappy with a linesperson’s call on the baseline. For the rest of the match, the Australian had constant discussions with the chair umpire. But finally, he emerged the winner after three hours and 16 minutes.
However, Kyrgios denied Tsitsipas’ it completely, saying he did nothing towards him.
“I’m not sure how I bullied him. He was the one hitting balls at me, he was the one that hit a spectator, he was the one that smacked it out of the stadium. I just don’t understand what I did. Like I did nothing towards him. I didn’t think I was aggressive towards him,” Kyrgios was quoted as saying by Skysports.
“I wasn’t hitting balls at his face. I don’t know. I didn’t feel like there was any anger. I had no anger towards Stef (Stefanos Tsitsipas) today on the match. I don’t know where it’s coming from, to be honest. If he’s affected by that today, then that’s what’s holding him back. I just think it’s soft,” he said.