The quotes of 2022, episode 14: Tsitsipas on “bully” Kyrgios

To end 2022, let’s look back, in chronological order, at the year’s standout quotes – episode 14, the clash between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon

Tsitsipas and Kyrgios Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon in 2022 (Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic)

Entering the court for the third round of Wimbledon on July 2, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios are good buddies. They have played doubles together before, and been seen teasing each other on Instagram. Three hours later, after a match with enough sparks to blow up a power plant, they feel more like punching each other.

“Every single point that I played today I feel like there was something going on on the other side of the net,” the Greek said in a press conference after losing 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7).

“That’s his way of manipulating the opponent and making you feel distracted, in a way. There is no other player that does this. I really hope all us players can come up with something and make this a cleaner version of our sport, have this kind of behaviour not accepted, not allowed, not tolerated.”

He added: “It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He bullies the opponents. 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.”

Having heard this, Kyrgios replied, “He was the one hitting balls at me. He was the one who hit a spectator…I didn’t do anything. Apart from me going back and forth with the umpire, I did nothing toward Stefanos today that was disrespectful, I don’t think.

“I would be pretty upset if I lost to someone two weeks in a row, as well. Maybe he should figure out how to beat me a couple more times first and then get to that [Kyrgios beat Tsitsipas in Halle before Wimbledon].

“If he’s affected by that today, then that’s what’s holding him back. Because someone can just do that, and that’s going to throw him off his game like that? I just think it’s soft.”

Big clash, but ancient history. At the Diriyah Cup in December, Tsitsipas and Kyrgios played doubles together again.

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