Wimbledon: Nick Kyrgios joins Rafael Nadal in second week of Grand Slam after fiery clash | tennis news

Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios knocked out Stefanos Tsitsipas as fourth seed in a wild and beautiful Wimbledon third-round brawl that saw swearing, bullying accusations and balls hitting the crowd – and the bad feeling continued at the post-match media conferences

Last updated: 03/07/22 8:32am

Nick Kyrgios won a wild and beautiful Wimbledon third round brawl against Stefanos Tsitsipas

Nick Kyrgios won a wild and beautiful Wimbledon third round brawl against Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas has accused opponent Nick Kyrgios of bullying after their dramatic third-round duel at Wimbledon on Saturday.

The maverick Australian recovered from losing a tie-break in the first set to win 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) to end a match. winning with code violations, a point penalty and countless fights with officials.

At one point, Kyrgios even demanded that his opponent default for hitting a ball into the crowd in an ill-tempered affair.

The Australian's antics sparked a scathing response from Tsitsipas

The Australian’s antics sparked a scathing response from Tsitsipas

The pair carried their feud to post-match media conferences, where the Greek fourth seed said Kyrgios had a “bad side” in his post-match press conference.

He said: “It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He bullies his 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 some good qualities in his character. But he also has a very bad side about him, which if exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him.”

Kyrgios: I’m not sure how I bullied him; I just like it soft

Just days after being fined $10,000 for spitting at a fan during the first round, Kyrgios was warned on Saturday about swearing.

“I’m not sure how I bullied him. He was the one who hit balls at me, he was the one who hit a spectator, he was the one who knocked him out of the stadium,” Kyrgios said.

“I just don’t understand what I was doing. Like I didn’t do anything to him. I didn’t think I was being aggressive towards him.

“I didn’t hit balls in his face. I don’t know. I didn’t feel like there was any anger.

“I had no anger towards Stef today during the game. I don’t know where it comes from, to be honest.

“If he’s bothered by that today, that’s what’s holding him back. I just think it’s soft.”

How the drama unfolded

A chaotic encounter began in relative calm with Kyrgios putting in an almost flawless display of serving – including a forearm between the legs – in the first set.

Kyrgios was only four points behind on his serve, but lost his way in the tie-break when Tsitsipas took the lead.

Kyrgios talks to an official during a moody match

Kyrgios talks to an official during a moody match

In the meantime, however, Kyrgios demanded a new linesman after a poor decision and complained to the spectators about another official before serving, at one point Tsitsipas asked for his towel amid pantomime anger from the crowd.

Kyrgios got a code violation at 5-4 in the second for swearing, followed by a stunning winner of a Tsitsipas overhead to level up.

The sublime immediately returned to the utterly ridiculous, Tsitsipas angrily slammed a ball into the stands to earn a warning of his own, and Kyrgios insisted he defaulted.

While Kyrgios argued with everyone, Tsitsipas took a bathroom break, came back outside and complained about the placement of the towels.

Tsitsipas completely lost his head as Kyrgios held on with another serve under his arms and lunged at the ball to earn a point deduction.

The Australian soon bowed to the crowd after landing a drop shot on the net, before falling to Tsitsipas’ side to take the third set and sum up the Greek’s luck.

As the clock ticked toward 9pm, the roof closed and as hostilities resumed, Kyrgios crashed an ace to take the fourth set to another tie-break.

It was a rousing climax that ended with a drop shot, a wild party and confirmation that the Kyrgios roadshow is rumbling for the second week.

Rafael Nadal swept past Lorenzo Sonego on Center Court

Rafael Nadal swept past Lorenzo Sonego on Center Court

Rafael Nadal hit form with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 win over Lorenzo Sonego.

The two-time Wimbledon champion had dropped sets in each of his first two wins at the All England Club this year, but had no such problems against the 27th seed at Center Court.

Nadal charged into the fourth round until Sonego managed to get the roof closed while trailing 4-2 in the third set.

The Italian then broke the 22-time big winner to love under the lights, but an enraged Nadal immediately hit back before knocking out the match to keep his calendar year Grand Slam bid on track.

Cristian Garin from Chile reached the fourth round for the second year in a row

Cristian Garin from Chile reached the fourth round for the second year in a row

Cristian Garin reached the fourth round for the second year in a row with a 6-2 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory over 29th-seeded Jenson Brooksby.

Garin, 26, who is 43rd, said he appreciated the chanting of his compatriots in the stands of Court No 3: “When I hear that, I know Chileans [here] somewhere, so that’s good.”

Taylor Fritz advanced to the fourth round for the first time after a straight sets win over Alex Molcan to ensure there will be four American men in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 1999.

The 11th seed joined Tommy Paul, Brandon Nakashima and Frances Tiafoe in the last 16 after beating the Slovakian 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-3) at No. 3 Court.

He will face the next qualifier Jason Kubler for a spot in the quarter-finals after Australian beat qualifier Jack Sock 6-2 4-6 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

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