Nick Kyrgios reignites infamous feud with tennis rival Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Aussie tennis star has fired back after his Greek rival reportedly referred to him as a 'clown'.
The infamous feud between tennis rivals Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas is threatening to boil over again after the Aussie star's brutal response to comments from his Greek rival. The pair used to be friendly growing up playing tennis, but their relationship soured after a bad-blooded Wimbledon showdown last year.
Kyrgios knocked Tsitisipas out in the third round at the All England Club after demanding that his opponent be defaulted for whacking a ball into the crowd in anger at the end of the second set. The match was littered with controversy and ill-will, with Tsitsipas appearing to hit a number of balls at Kyrgios during the four-set defeat.
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In a recent interview, Tsitisipas claimed - as quoted by Greek news outlet Tromaktiko - that it was Kyrgios "who broke" the friendship between the two players. The Greek star reportedly described Kyrgios as acting like a "clown" during the fiery Wimbledon clash, and suggested it was typical of the temperamental Aussie's on-court behaviour.
“I didn’t do anything,” Tsitsipas said. “I was only trying to compete, while he was playing the clown. It also depends on how he wakes up each day.”
Kyrgios got wind of the comments from his Greek rival and in typical fashion, fired back on social media. The Aussie claimed it was Tsitsipas that was in the wrong during the match and suggested his rival was still bitter about the manner of defeat against the Aussie star.
“Right….. this the match he hit someone in the crowd….. belted another ball out of the stadium and got taught a lesson in front of another full stadium…..” Kyrgios posted.
Right….. this the match he hit someone in the crowd….. belted another ball out of the stadium and got taught a lesson in front of another full stadium….. https://t.co/NU5Hs6Al0S
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) February 4, 2023
Both Kyrgios and Tsitsipas were fined for their antics during the Wimbledon showdown, with the Greek slapped with more than $15,000 in fines and the Aussie more than $5000. Out of pocket. Speaking in his post-match press conference after the Wimbledon defeat, Tsitsipas took aim at Kyrgios and labelled his victorious opponent a "bully".
"It's constant bullying, that's what he does. He bullies the opponents," the Greek star said. "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 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 shrugged off Tsitsipas' claims at the time, claiming it was the Greek star who was out of line during the match. The Aussie also described his Greek rival as "soft" in a bitter fallout to the match.
"I don't know what to say. I'm not sure how I bullied him," Kyrgios said at the time. "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. 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."
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios no longer friendly
The feud between the two players was touched upon in the Netflix series Break Point, in which Tsitsipas referred to Kyrgios as a “devil when he enters the court”. The criticism was similar to what the Greek said after the infamous Wimbledon match, about the negative effects Kyrgios' on-court antics have on his rival players.
"This needs to stop. It's not okay. Someone needs to sit down with him," Tsitsipas said at Wimbledon. I'm not used to playing this way. But I cannot just sit there, act like a robot and act like someone that is completely cold and ignorant.
"It has happened three, four times now. Okay, one time I understand, but if it starts happening two, three, four times, it really gets to your nerves. Because you're out there doing your job, and you have noise coming from the other side of the court for no absolute reason.
"I'm not trying to be distracted by that because I know it might be intentional because for sure he can play other way and that's his way of manipulating the opponent and making you feel distracted, in a way. There is no other player that does this. There is no other player that is so upset and frustrated all the time with something.
"I really hope all us players can come up with something and make this a cleaner version of our sport, have this kind of behaviour not accepted, not allowed, not tolerated."
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