Nick Kyrgios received criticism from a one-time Wimbledon champion following the Australian tennis star’s heated match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Kyrgios defeated Tsitsipas 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) in a four-set thriller during the third round of the Wimbledon Championships. During the match, Tsitsipas purposely hit a ball into the stands, expressing frustration with himself over dropping a set. Kyrgios complained Tsitsipas should’ve been defaulted for the outburst, leading to a short protest. He would receive a code violation for cussing.
Pat Cash, a fellow Australian who won at Wimbledon in the ’80s, told BBC Radio he wasn’t enthused by Kyrgios’ antics.
“It was absolute mayhem. He’s brought tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behavior to umpires, to linesmen,” Cash said.
“He was lucky to even get through the first set, he should have been defaulted in the first set. Something’s got to be done about it, it’s just an absolute circus. Is it entertaining? Yeah, possibly. It’s gone to the absolute limit now.”
Cash explained what he meant by “cheating.” He said Kyrgios did more than just try to one-up Tsitsipas mentally.
“Tsitsipas would make a line call and he’d go up there and start complaining, he’d be in his face – that’s part of gamesmanship, that’s the sort of stuff he does and I think there’s a limit.
“I have no problems with a bit of gamesmanship but when it gets to that level, I think it’s just out of control.
“As it was, the umpire lost control. The ball kids were running across the court as Kyrgios was serving, he didn’t slow down for any of that stuff. Tsitsipas got sucked right into it, so it was entertaining and fascinating, but for me it’s gone too far now.”
Kyrgios, known for his hot-headedness on the court, was also disciplined for spitting toward fans during a match earlier in the tournament. He also called a lineswoman a “snitch.”
On Monday, Kyrgios once again battled through the criticism to beat Brandon Nakashima in a five-set thriller. He won 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-2. He will face Chilean Cristian Garin in the quarterfinal