Tsitsipas accuses Kyrgios of having 'evil side' after ill-tempered Wimbledon clash

Victorious Australian responds by claiming Greek is 'not liked' in the locker room

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The tension between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios spilled over into the press conference room following their ill-tempered clash at Wimbledon on Saturday when the Greek accused his Australian opponent of having an "evil side".

The bad-tempered match overshadowed the rest of the action on day six, which included the end of Iga Swiatek's 37-match winning streak and a routine victory for Rafael Nadal, who was also involved in a tense exchange with Lorenzo Sonego.

The mercurial Kyrgios prevailed 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in an incident-packed third-round match on Court One.

The contest descended into mayhem when a frustrated Tsitsipas hit the ball into the crowd after losing the second set.

Kyrgios told the umpire that Tsitsipas should be kicked out of Wimbledon, recalling the incident at the US Open in 2020 when Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the tournament after hitting a line judge with a ball.

"You can't hit a ball into the crowd and hit someone and not get defaulted," said Kyrgios, who received an audible obscenity warning during the match.

He kept up his verbal jousting with the umpire, clearly unsettling Tsitsipas, who was warned over the incident and later handed a point penalty for hitting the ball in frustration towards the back of the court.

The bad feeling bubbled up again in post-match press conferences, with fourth seed Tsitsipas saying it felt like a "circus".

"He bullies the opponents," said the Greek, who admitted trying to hit the ball at Kyrgios. "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."

Tsitsipas said he wished players could "come together and put a rule in place" to curb Kyrgios's behaviour.

"There is no other player that does this," he said. "There is no other player that is so upset and frustrated all the time with something. It triggers it so easy and so fast."

But Kyrgios laughed off Tsitsipas's accusations, describing his opponent as "soft".

"We're not cut from the same cloth," he said. "I go up against guys who are true competitors."

He added: "I'm good in the locker room. I've got many friends, just to let you know. I'm actually one of the most liked. I'm set. He's not liked. Let's just put that there."

Updated: July 03, 2022, 4:31 AM
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