Nick Kyrgios’ confrontation with Stefanos Tsitsipas is the most hyped match of the first week at Wimbledon, but not in the eyes of tournament officials.
The All England Club stunned tennis commentators on Saturday morning by announcing that the match will not be played on the venue’s famed Center Court.
There is speculation by some tennis reporters that Kyrgios’ behavior — headlined by an ugly spitting incident in his first round win — is the reason the blockbuster was relegated to court No. 1.
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The Kyrgios match schedule has already raised eyebrows this week with its first two rounds being played at Court No. 2 and Court. Number 3.
Now, officials have done it again by placing the third-round match as the final match on Court No. 1, which is scheduled for around 1 a.m. (AEST) Sunday morning.
The matches scheduled for Center Court on Day 6 are No. 11 seed Coco Gauff against No. 20 seed Amanda Anisimova, No. 4 seed Paula Badosa against No. 25 seed Petra Kvitova and No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal against No. 27 seeded Lorenzo Sonego.
There was broad agreement that the action on Court No. 1 looks much more exciting on paper.
The timesTennis correspondent Stuart Fraser wrote on Twitter: “Disbelief here on tomorrow’s schedule. Wonder if Kyrgios’ past behavior had an impact on this particular pick”.
Sky Sports journalist Michael Hincks wrote: “Winner winner for all with No 1 Court tickets Saturday – a UK hopeful, a world No 1 and the best match of the day in Kyrgios-Tsitsipas”.
Kyrgios on Friday copped a heavy fine for spitting at spectators and then withdrew from doubles tie where he would play alongside good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis.
It was revealed Friday morning that Kyrgios has been fined $AUD 14,400 for the despicable act.
Fourteen players were on the fine list released by Wimbledon today, but Kyrgios’ penalty was by far the most severe.
Kyrgios was in no mood to show remorse for his first-round antics after taking another win on Thursday night to enter the third round.
Asked about his win two sets against Filip Krajinovic if he regretted his actions at the All England Club, Kyrgios left no one in doubt where he stood.
‘Why would you ask me a question two days ago? Is it because you don’t have a story for today?” he said.
“I just feel good in my own skin. Some people like to just knock me down. It’s just not possible anymore.
“I want to give people watching this press conference or watching my tennis to just believe in yourself, be yourself, not be anyone else here either. Don’t just say what you’re told.
“I don’t care if there’s an investigation that I do (spit), to be honest with you. I know what I bring to the sport.
“I am one of the most important people in the sport. Do you want to talk about that? Nothing to investigate there, because it’s just factual.”
Kyrgios won the Australian Open doubles title alongside Kokkinakis, but after beating Krajinovic, his singles may have to take precedence over Wimbledon this year.
It was soon confirmed that the “Special Ks” would not be taking the field together at the All England Club.
“I am a single player. My priority has always been singles,” Kyrgios said on Friday. “I’ve reached quarter-finals here before, I’ve won singles titles.
“In my first round I played almost four hours. Personally, it was just too much time on the track.
“Today I made up for that. But I want to make my singles my priority. I do what’s best for my body.”
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