Kyrgios a 'bully,' Tsitsipas 'soft': What the heroes of Wimbledon blockbuster said
- Following their tense third-round battle at Wimbledon, Stefanos Tsitsipas called Nick Kyrgios 'a bully'
- After losing in four sets, the Greek fourth seed demanded that Kyrgios' behaviour be monitored
- Here is what the players said after the intense match
After losing in four sets, the Greek fourth seed demanded that Kyrgios' behaviour be monitored, while the Australian responded by calling his opponent "soft."
During a heated match on Court One, Kyrgios urged that Tsitsipas be forfeited for slamming a ball into the crowd after losing the second set.
Kyrgios, who was warned for swearing, battled passionately with the umpire and then the supervisor, but it was Tsitsipas who was later penalised for smashing a second ball into the wall in rage.
Tsitsipas also acknowledged purposefully hitting the ball at the continually grumbling Kyrgios during rallies "just to stop" him.
“I wish we could all come together and put a rule in place,” stated the 23-year-old.
“I don’t know. Something about talking. Why would you be talking while you’re playing? It makes no sense. You are out there to do your job. Tennis is the most important thing that we are doing out there,” the Greek said, adding, “Every single point that I played today I feel like there was something going on on the other side of the net. I’m not trying to be distracted by that, because I know it might be intentional. And that’s his way of manipulating the opponent and making you feel distracted, in a way.”
He further said, “There is no other player that does this. There is no other player that is so upset and frustrated all the time with something. It triggers it so easy and so fast. I really hope all us players can come up with something and make this a cleaner version of our sport, have this kind of behaviour not accepted, not allowed, not tolerated, and move on better.”
Tsitsipas, who finished with a cold handshake with his divisive opponent, added, “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 it’s exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him. 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,” he added.
“But attitude-wise, if there was a handshake for that, I would definitely be walking away from it, and that’s how it is. It’s not acceptable in any way,” Tsitsipas concluded.
Kyrgios hit some stunning shots in his 6-7 (2) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7) triumph, but his behaviour, as usual, eclipsed his tennis.
He claimed unapologetically, “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.”
“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 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,” Kyrgios explained.