Nick Kyrgios’ father has accused Wimbledon umpires of double standards, claiming that his controversial son would have been instantly disqualified on Saturday night if he hit a ball into the crowd.
Kyrgios, who himself is risking a second Wimbledon fine in a week for his foul-mouthed antics, was furious when Stefanos lashed out at Tsitsipas at the end of the second set, demanding he immediately get the match. Umpire Damien Dumusois only handed out a code violation against Tsitsipas instead.
“My son would have been defaulted,” Giorgos Kyrgios told the BBC. ‘You have to draw a line for everyone. I hate to see it in front of anyone. I feel sorry for them all – the pressure is so great.”
Kyrgios, who was fined $10,000 for spitting at a spectator in the first round, won the match and was awarded a Center Court billing against American Brandon Nakashima on Monday. Tsitsipas called Kyrgios a “bully” with an “evil” streak after his defeat in four sets in what was one of Wimbledon’s most crabby matches ever?†
Kyrgios and Nakashima are both unseeded for the tournament, but Wimbledon, whose court selections also take into account the BBC’s preferences, have captured Kyrgios’ appeal, ahead of a number of players above him in the world rankings.
Giorgos Kyrgios argued that his son’s match against Tsitsipas had been “good for tennis”, although most pundits felt their furious antics had gone way too far. “You cross the line when you swear at the referee in a conversation and you definitely cross the line when you hit a ball into the crowd like that,” said Tim Henman, who is on the All England Club’s committee. “There is no doubt that Tsitsipas is extremely lucky. If that ball hits a spectator, especially in the head, you’ll be disqualified (watch the video below).
“He has been penalized and if you hear him talk about the frustration in the cold daylight of a match, he has lost the plot. When you play against Kyrgios you have to expect those antics. He will be fined but Tsitsipas is the one who is distracted. He is the one who is lost.”
Kyrgios was not only warned against swearing, but asked the umpire if he was “stupid”, while Tsitsipas lost his cool and tried to hit his opponent with a smash. Mats Wilander, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, was among those not impressed. “Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it respectful? No,” Wilander told Eurosport. “Is the tennis great? Unbelievable, because both players are such good players. And Kyrgios is so talented.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not sure I want to see something like that again to be honest, because I don’t think this is what we want to promote in tennis. We don’t want to promote it as entertainment.
“We want to promote it as inspiring, educational, but this is what people might want to see. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of what’s going on to be honest.”
Kyrgios has been fined several times in his tennis career and responded to Tsitsipas’ charges by calling the allegations “soft” and claiming the Greek had “serious problems”.
Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli said the match had turned from “fun” to totally unacceptable behaviour. “Do you like Nick [Kyrgios] or you don’t, you can’t deny that he makes people animated,” she said. “I don’t like seeing the part where they try to hit each other with the ball, but the other part is fun. I think sometimes bullying the umpires or the linesmen or the ball kids – that’s totally unacceptable and that has to stop, period.”