Nick Kyrgios takes down 4th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a wild outburst Wimbledon match

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Nick Kyrgios takes down 4th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a wild outburst Wimbledon match

WIMBLEDON, England — Stefanos Tsitsipas labeled Nick Kyrgios a “bully” after he was beaten by the Australian in a volatile “circus” of a third-round match at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Kyrgios won 6-7(2) 6-4 6-3 7-6(7) to reach the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time since 2016, but not without three code violations revealed during the game – – one against Kyrgios for an audible profanity and two against Tsitsipas for abusing the ball, resulting in a point penalty.

After the match, fourth-placed Tsitsipas said Kyrgios had “a nasty side” and must have been “a bully at school” for his behavior throughout the match.

“It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does,” said Tsitsipas. “He bullies opponents. He was probably a bully himself at school. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like people who put others down.

“He also has some good traits in his character, but … he also has a very evil side to him that, if exposed, can really cause a lot of harm and suffering to those around him.”

Kyrgios replied: “Coming in here and saying I bullied him is just soft. We are not cut from the same cloth. I compete against guys who are real competitors. If he’s affected by that today, it’s holding him back because someone can just do that and it’s going to throw him out of his game like that. I just think it’s soft.

Much of the drama concerned an incident at the end of the second set when Tsitsipas flicked a ball into the corner stands, narrowly missing a spectator.

Kyrgios immediately argued with the referee, saying Tsitsipas should be defaulted, adding that he would have been kicked out if he had. He then demanded to see a supervisor but was unhappy with chair umpire Damien Dumusois’ response to a warning.

“What are you talking about, brother?” Kyrgios Dumusois asked. “Bring out more overseers. I’m not ready. Get them all out. I do not care. … I’m not playing until we get to the bottom of it.”

Tsitsipas later apologized for hitting the ball in the corner.

“Look, I have to say it was really bad on my part,” he said. “I’ve never done it before, throwing the ball off the field like that. I apologized to the people. I don’t know what was going through my head at the time.

“I think with all the circus show that was happening on the other side of the net it got very tiring in a way. That happened. I haven’t met any people. It hit the wall, thank god. Sure I’ll never do that again. It’s definitely my responsibility. But there was also something that caused this behavior that I’m not used to.”

Kyrgios’ problems with the chair umpire started in the first set when he was interrupted by a reverse call from a linesman wanting that official removed, which didn’t happen.

More antics came from both players throughout. From armpit slams hit by Kyrgios – including one between his legs – to three shots Tsitsipas deliberately slammed straight at him.

Kyrgios said after the match that he didn’t do anything wrong.

“I don’t know what to say,” Kyrgios said. “I’m not sure how I bullied him. He was the one who hit balls at me. He was the one who punched a spectator. He was the one who smashed him out of the stadium. I haven’t done anything… Apart from just going back and forth to the referee a bit, I didn’t do anything disrespectful to Stefanos today, I don’t think so. I didn’t drill him with eggs.”

The Greek star admitted trying to beat Kyrgios a couple of times but said he thinks there should be some sort of rule preventing players from sometimes behaving like the Australian does.

“Every single point I played today, I feel like something happened on the other side of the net,” said Tsitsipas. “I try not to let that distract me because I know it could be on purpose because I’m sure he can play differently. And that’s his way of manipulating the opponent and making you feel sort of distracted.

“There’s no other player that does that. There’s no other player that’s so upset and frustrated about something all the time. It triggers it so easily and so quickly.”

Players achieved 118 winners in 1st place in a match that lasted 3 hours and 17 minutes.

“He’s very different. That’s not a bad thing,” Tsitsipas said of Kyrgios, adding that the Australian star is good for the sport in a way. “But I don’t think I’ve played a single match with him where he’s acted like that. Let’s say there comes a point where you get really fed up.

“The constant talking. The constant complaining. I mean, I’m about to serve and there’s a big gap there, not playing tennis, which is the most important thing on the court. We’re there to play tennis. We’re not there to have conversations and dialogues with other people… especially when you really know the referee isn’t going to overturn his decision, you know.

Kyrgios meets American Brandon Nakashima in the fourth round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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