Two tennis plays shake hands after a match

‘Has an evil side to him’: Tsitsipas lashes out at ‘bully’ Kyrgios after bitter Wimbledon battle

Nick Kyrgios has labeled Stefanos Tsitsipas “soft” after the defeated Greek accused the Australian of being a bully with a “bad side”, in a bitter postscript to Wimbledon’s explosive third round.

Kyrgios demanded that Tsitsipas default after he recklessly hit a ball in the stands and nearly punched a female spectator during his 6-7 (7/2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) loss on Saturday (local time).

Kyrgios was also engaged in an ongoing battle with the chair umpire, with both players being given code violations for unsportsmanlike conduct during the hateful encounter.

“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,” Tsitsipas said, while he an ugly war of words.

“He also has some good qualities in his character. But he also has a very bad side about him which, if exposed, can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him.”

Kyrgios laughed off the claims before sarcastically saying he would also be upset if he lost to the same opponent four times in as many matches as Tsitsipas in their one-sided rivalry.

“I don’t know what to say. 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 after booking a fourth round appointment with unseeded American Brandon Nakashima on Monday.

“I didn’t do anything. Other than going back and forth to the referee, I didn’t do anything to Stefanos today that was disrespectful, I don’t think. I wasn’t drilling him with balls.”

Tsitsipas was penalized at one point for hitting a return from an underarm serve from Kyrgios into a scoreboard, but the Greek admitted he was actually aiming “at my opponent’s body, but I missed a lot”.

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