Stefanos Tsitsipas has called Nick Kyrgios ‘evil’ and ‘a bully’ after their explosive third round match at Wimbledon.
The Greek fourth seed called for Kyrgios’ behavior to be put down after a four-set loss, while the Australian called his opponent ‘soft’ in response.
In a stormy encounter on Court One, Kyrgios demanded that Tsitsipas be sent off for kicking a ball into the crowd when he lost the second set.
Kyrgios, who received a warning for swearing, argued furiously with the referee and then the supervisor, but it was Tsitsipas who then received a penalty point for throwing a second ball towards the wall in frustration.
Tsitsipas even admitted to deliberately trying to hit the constantly chunking Kyrgios with the ball at rallies ‘just to stop him’.
“I wish we could all come together and put a rule in place,” the 23-year-old said.
“I don’t know. Something about talking. Why would you talk while you were playing? It doesn’t make sense. You’re there to do your job. Tennis is the most important thing we do there- down.
“Every point I played today felt like something was happening on the other side of the net.
“I’m not trying to be distracted by it, because I know it could be intentional. And it’s his way of manipulating the opponent and distracting you, in a way.
“There is no other player who does that. There is no other player who is so upset and frustrated with something all the time. He triggers it so easily and so quickly.
“I really hope that all of us players can come up with something and make it a cleaner version of our sport, that this kind of behavior is not accepted, not allowed, not tolerated and that we move on better.”
Tsitsipas, who shared an icy handshake with his controversial opponent at the end, added: “It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He harasses opponents.
“He was probably a bully himself at school. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like people who put other people down.
“He also has good traits in his character. But he also has a very evil side that, if exposed, can really hurt and harm the people around him.
“The handshake part, ‘well deserved, well done for a great game’, for sure, I have to congratulate my opponent. It’s something I’ve done all my life.
“I never finished the game and I didn’t give my hand to the opponent just because of their performance.
“But as far as attitude goes, if there was a handshake for that, I would definitely walk away from it, and that’s the way it is. That’s by no means acceptable.”
Kyrgios played some breathtaking shots in their 6-7(2) 6-4 6-3 7-6(7) victory but as usual his demeanor overshadowed his tennis.
Unrepentant as always, he said: “I don’t know how I intimidated him. He was the one who hit me with balls, he was the one who hit a spectator, he was the one who got him out of the stadium.
“I just don’t understand what I did. As if I had done nothing for him. I didn’t expect to be aggressive towards him.
“I wasn’t hitting the balls in his face. I do not know. I didn’t feel like there was any anger.
“I had no anger against Stef today on the match. I don’t know where that came from, to be honest.
“If he’s affected by it today, that’s what’s holding him back. I just think it’s sweet.