Piers Morgan slams Nick Kyrgios over Wimbledon behaviour
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Rafael Nadal’s uncle, Toni, has blamed Stefanos Tsitsipas for his row with Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon. The Greek was beaten in four sets by the Australian star in their third-round match which will be remembered as one of the most ill-tempered in the sport’s history.
The encounter was littered with controversy with Kyrgios and Tsitsipas both receiving court violations. The Australian spent much of the second set berating and swearing at the line judges. This appeared to get under Tsitsipas’ skin and he smashed the ball into the crowd after losing the second set. Kyrgios believed his opponent should have been defaulted as a result and initially refused to play until the situation was resolved.
Tsitsipas later received a point penalty for hitting the ball towards the crowd again following an underarm serve from his rival. He later admitted he was trying to hit Kyrgios with the return and tried twice more to strike the 27-year-old during the third set but called his opponent ‘evil’ and a ‘bully’ in his post-match press conference.
Now, Nadal’s uncle Toni has waded into the row and blamed Tsitsipas for the unsportsmanlike behaviour seen during the match.
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“On some occasions, I have been critical of the Australian as a result of his rudeness, his unsportsmanlike attitudes, his recurrent outbursts or his unfortunate comments,” he wrote in his column for the Spanish website Noticiero.lat. “On this occasion, however, I think the blunder on the track is attributable to the Greek.
‘”It is true that Kyrgios is too annoying, provocative and that he can easily drive his opponents out of their mind. However, I was greatly surprised Tsitsipas couldn’t deal with those situations.
“It is clear that Tsitsipas acted to his own detriment, lacking in the habit of dealing with those situations in which a player feels somewhat ridiculous and unable to control his emotions and his nervousness.”
The 61-year-old’s comments chime with Kyrgios’ view of the match with the Aussie insisting his rival acted worse during their encounter.
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“We just really need to stop putting us on the same level of behaviour today,” Kyrgios remarked when asked in his post-match press conference. “I’m getting fined for it. Because I always get fined. I’m very keen to see what he will get after today.”
The rivalry between the pair dates back to the 2018 US Open when Kyrgios called out his opponent on social media. Their relationship has been strained since however, they did also once come together as a doubles pairing in the 2019 Citi Open.
Kyrgios has since reached the quarter-finals of the tournament having beaten world No 56 Brandon Nakashima in five sets on Centre Court. The maverick star will play unseeded Colombian Cristian Garin on Wednesday as he seeks to make the semi-finals for the first time.
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