Nick Kyrgios reaches a new high with his antics at Wimbledon. The Australian describes the referee as a "shame" - and unnerves opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas, who freaks out himself. Two legends are divided over tennis' bad boy.
Even the inventor of bad behavior on a Wimbledon court, the early '80s super-thug suddenly had his doubts as to whether this Nick Kyrgios was actually an asset to the sport. His behavior, said John McEnroe, was "sad and beautiful at the same time". The reason for the debate about the "Bad Boy" was the absurd match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The legend and BBC expert Martina Navratilova also reprimanded the rioters and criticized a lack of equality due to the lack of disqualification. "The boys get away with a lot more than women," she said, recalling an earlier incident. In the 2018 US Open final, Serena Williams called the referee a "liar" and "thief" and had to give up a game.
The tennis world is divided: many fans celebrate Kyrgios, this Australian who is as brilliant as he is outrageous and who spits on etiquette and the Holy Lawn. Who always provokes and freaks out. Who is considered a great savior, a fountain of youth for the dusty sports scene, who is only really white in Wimbledon.
Stefanos Tsitsipas does not celebrate Kyrgios. He despises him and the "circus" that Kyrgios puts on. After a memorable third-round duel that took on street-fighting traits, including bullying and physical attacks, the loser said: "He has an evil side - and when it comes out he can cause a lot of suffering and harm to those around him." Tsitsipas saw himself as a victim of bullying. "He bullies his opponents, he was probably tormented at school himself." Nick Kyrgios, who appeared at the PK in the shirt of basketball villain Dennis Rodman, laughed out loud. "He shot balls at me, he hit a spectator, he threw the ball out of the stadium."
Kyrgios said, "I didn't do anything." In truth, he had driven Tsitsipas mad. Right from the start, Kyrgios scolded his way through the match, snapped at the line and referee Damien Dumusois, and there was hardly a break between rallies and service games without the "bad boy" antics or chatter. Until Tsitsipas lost his temper. After losing the second set, the Greek threw the ball into the crowd in frustration, seemingly without hitting anyone. The warning was still logical, just a bad joke for Kyrgios, he wanted disqualification. He called the referee, when he made no other decision, Kyrgios freaked out.
"Are you stupid?" he snapped at Dumusois: "You're a disgrace, you change the rules as you like." The exchange of blows that developed after that, the noble All England Club had rarely experienced since McEnroe's days, Tsitsipas blew the fuses, he aimed several times at Kyrgios and later openly admitted the intention: He wanted to "stop him. It has to stop . That's not okay. Somebody has to sit down and talk to him."
Tsitsipas demanded consequences for all players. "I hope we come up with something to make our sport cleaner. We shouldn't accept, tolerate or allow this behavior." He only got mockery from Kyrgios: "He's so soft." Like all opponents in Wimbledon. His boys at home on the basketball court are really "tough dogs". Striking words that would have to offend the fine tennis society. But the Wimbledon account on Twitter celebrated the great entertainment together with many fans: "Unscripted. Unfiltered. Inevitable." Sounds like the subtitle of a Netflix documentary - and in fact it's in the works. With filming at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios knows his worth. "It's fantastic: Everywhere I go, the stadiums are full," he said, to the cheers of the spectators. "And the media write that I'm bad for the sport. Obviously not." That was neither sad nor beautiful, just true.