Australian tennis legend Pat Cash has slammed his compatriot Nick Kyrgios for his behaviour at Wimbledon this year.
Kyrgios beat the tournament’s fourth seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in a fiery encounter, 6-7 6-4 6-3 7-6(7), to advance to the fourth round, with both players fined for their conduct during the clash.
Asked about their behaviour, Kyrgios said people should “stop” comparing given that Tsitsipas could easily have been defaulted for twice hitting the ball into the stands in frustration.
“We just really need to stop putting us on the same level of behaviour today,” Kyrgios said. “I’ll get fined for that so why would I need to apologise.”
The world No. 40 had already received the largest fine of any player at Wimbledon so far after he admitted to spitting towards a heckling fan following his first-round victory over Paul Jubb.
“Does that make it okay? I have apologised and I’ve been hit with massive fines,” Kyrgios explained. “I’m getting fined for it. Because I got – I always get fined.”
Cash has made his views abundantly clear when it comes to Kyrgios’ behaviour, saying his fellow Australian has “brought tennis to the lowest level I can see”.
“It was absolute mayhem, he [Kyrgios] was lucky to even get through the first set,” former Wimbledon champion Cash said on the BBC. “He should have been defaulted in the first set.
“Something’s got to be done about it. It’s just an absolute circus.
“He has brought tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behaviour to umpires, to linesmen.
“Is it entertaining? Yeah, possibly. It’s gone to the absolute limit now. [It’s] the gamesmanship, the abuse he was giving. Tsitsipas got sucked right into it, so it was entertaining and fascinating, but for me, it’s gone too far now.
“I have no problems with a bit of gamesmanship but when it gets to that level I think it’s just out of control.”
Tsitsipas claimed after the match in his press conference that Kyrgios was a “bully” after losing his temper with the 27-year-old.
“He was probably a bully in school,” said Tsitsipas. “He has an evil side to him and it does a lot of harm to people around him.”
A feud between the two players began in 2018 when Kyrgios called the Greek star out on social media, but that seemed to have been put to one side when they joined up as a doubles pairing at the 2019 Citi Open.
Kyrgios is back in action on Monday as he takes on Brandon Nakashima of the USA in their fourth-round match on Centre Court.