Nick Kyrgios has hit back at Stefanos Tsitsipas' ‘bully’ claims by calling the Greek ‘soft’ and rejecting claims that he was ‘evil’ following a fiery third-round match at Wimbledon.
It was a heated third-round Wimbledon matchup between Kyrgios and Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas that saw both players cop fines from the ATP for actions within the match.
Tsitsipas was fined $14,700 (US$10,000) for hitting a ball into the crowd and almost hitting a spectator, while Kyrgios was at it again with verbal complaints towards the umpire and throughout, subsequently causing a $6,000 (US$4,000) in his wallet.
Following his defeat to Kyrgios, Tsistipas placed the blame for the match falling into chaos on the Australian and claimed his opponent had an ‘evil side’ and bullied him during the matchup.
The Greek player also admitted to deliberately attempting to hit Kyrgios in the body with the ball on several occasions in response to being triggered by the Australian’s antics.
Kyrgios brutally responded to the claims and questioned his opponent’s mindset.
He said: “He’s that soft, to come in here and say I bullied him, that’s just soft.
“We’re not cut from the same cloth. If he’s affected by that today, then that’s what’s holding him back, because someone can just do that and that’s going to throw him off his game like that. I just think it’s soft.”
As for having balls aimed his way from his opponent in response to his ‘constant talking’ on the court, Kyrgios blasted Tsitsipas’ own behaviour.
He said: “I don’t know what to say. 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 didn’t do anything. I was actually like, apart from me just going back and forth to the umpire for a bit, I did nothing towards Stefanos today that was disrespectful, I don’t think. I was not drilling him with balls.”
Tsitsipas made the damning ‘bullying’ allegations in the post-match press conference following his third-round defeat.
The world number six complained: “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 when he, 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.”
Kyrgios had a sensational first-round of Wimbledon that saw him cop a hefty fine in a matchup that saw him spit towards someone in the crowd as well as call a line judge a ‘snitch’.
His second-round matchup was a lot more uneventful, however, between he and Tsisipas’ antics, the third round was much more of the same as the first.
The tennis world will be watching the round of 16 matchup tonight between the Australian and American Brandon Nakashima, where the focus will surely be on more than just the tennis.
Featured Image Credit: Wimbledon.com. PA Images / Alamy.