A spectator who was removed from Centre Court after Nick Kyrgios accused her of having “like 700 drinks” has insisted she was only trying to support him.
The player angrily complained to the umpire that a woman was putting him off his serve and should be thrown out.
It came amid a rant-fuelled match by the Australian, which involved regular criticism of umpiring decisions.
When the official asked which crowd member was bothering him, Kyrgios exploded: “The one who looks like she’s had 700 drinks, bro.”
Ania Palus, a medical lawyer from Poland who was seated close to the front, was pulled aside and spoken to by stewards shortly after.
But, speaking to reporters, she said she had only had one Pimm’s and a glass of rosé – but conceded she had forgotten her hat in the heat. She said she was backing the Australian, partly because, like him, she has suffered from depression and so could sympathise with him.
“If you think one person saying “come on, you can do it” is so disturbing that he loses a game … how can he pick up a single fan who is clapping, rooting for him?”
Blaming others when the match is going against him is a hallmark of Kyrgios’s game, and as in previous clashes this fortnight he regularly chastised both the officials for their decisions and his own supporters for what he perceived as a lack of support.
However, in the final the Australian appeared for a time fixated with the presence of Palus during his service games. In a post-match press conference he conceded that the perceived disturbance had not cost him the title, but added: “I don’t need someone absolutely smashed talking to me point in, point out – do you know what I mean? I’m all for having a great time …”
After about 15 minutes, a distraught Palus was permitted back onto Centre Court for the remainder of the match. A committed tennis fan, last month the 32-year-old was cheering on Rafael Nadal at the French Open, according to posts on her social media. She has also posted a selfie with Novak Djokovic, the eventual Wimbledon victor, last year. Speaking after the final, she said: “I understand what it is like to be an underdog so I wanted to give him support. Maybe I took it too far … but I only had good intentions.”
The Telegraph, London
News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.
Most Viewed in Sport
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article