Stefanos Tsitsipas says there is “a very evil side” to Nick Kyrgios following their ill-tempered third-round showdown at Wimbledon. Fourth…
Stefanos Tsitsipas says there is “a very evil side” to Nick Kyrgios following their ill-tempered third-round showdown at Wimbledon.
Fourth seed Tsitsipas bowed out at SW19 after going down 6-7(2) 6-4 6-3 7-6(7) to the fiery Australian on Saturday.
Both players were fortunate to escape defaults during the early stages of the frosty encounter.
Kyrgios appeared to swear at officials in the first set, while a frustrated Tsitsipas narrowly missed spectators when striking a ball into the crowd at the conclusion of the second.
The Greek ace was notably annoyed by the trademark antics of Kyrgios with the world number 40 repeatedly complaining throughout the contest; officials and his entourage bearing the brunt.
And Tsitsipas, who also fired the ball towards his opponent on several occasions, has called on his fellow professionals to join forces in a bid to tackle Kyrgios’ behaviour.
“I’m a bit disappointed with some of the things that went down – especially when it’s repetitive, it starts to get really difficult to ignore,” he said during his post-match press conference.
“There comes a point when you get really tired of it; the constant talking, the constant complaining.
“We’re there to play tennis; we’re not there to have conversations or dialogue with other people.
“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.
“There’s not a player that is so upset and frustrated all the time with something. It triggers so easily and 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 allowed or tolerated. This needs to stop; it’s not okay.”
Tsitsipas expressed remorse after his prolonged frustration culminated in him striking the ball into the crowd.
Although he felt provoked, the 23-year-old took full accountability for the incident.
“It was really bad from my side; I’ve never done that before,” he added.
“I did apologise to the people; I don’t know what went through my head at that time.
“With the circus going on at the other side of the net, it started to become very tiring.
“For sure, I’m never doing that again. It’s my responsibility, but there was also something that created that behaviour.”