Stefanos Tsitsipas hits Nick Kyrgios with a VERY telling sledge before blockbuster Wimbledon clash
Stefanos Tsitsipas hits Nick Kyrgios with a VERY telling sled for their blockbuster Wimbledon clash – while Aussie DUMPS his best mate Thanasi Kokkinakis to chase the title
- Tsitsipas is the number 5 in the world, but has a losing record against Aussie Kyrgios
- They have played wild encounters and both have caused epic tantrums
- While there is mutual respect, Tsitsipas wonders which Kyrgios will show up
- In a thinly veiled sleigh he has asked if Kyrgios has the will to fight
Will the real Nick Kyrgios please stand up? That’s the question Wimbledon No.4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is asking as the duo prepare for an explosive round-three bout at the All England Club.
Known better for his tantrums and antics on the court than for his actual tennis, Kyrgios has form on the board against Tsitsipas.
Kyrgios argues with ATP supervisor Hans-Juergen Ochs in his match against Tsitsipas during the Terra Wortmann Open at the OWL-Arena on June 15, 2022 in Halle, Germany.
At the Halle Open in Germany earlier this year, Kyrgios launched an incredible sit-down protest and diatribe against the officials over towels – when he trailed one set and lost in the second.
‘For what? I can’t get to my towel?’ grumbled an incredulous Kyrgios at that moment.
‘I always do that; I’m waiting for someone. I’m waiting for someone all the time. I do not play. Take a supervisor, take a supervisor.’
Kyrgios went on to win 5-7 6-2 6-4 in the traditional pre-Wimbledon tournament, but Tsitsipas learned a lot about his new rival in that encounter.
Tsitsipas in action in the second round of the men’s match against Australia’s Jordan Thompson at the Wimbledon Championships
Now he has delivered the ultimate sleigh of four words, saying that Kyrgios can fight incredibly on the pitch – ‘when he wants’.
“I feel like everyone here knows who Nick is,” Tsitsipas said.
“We have had many great matches against each other. I respect him for his game and the way he fights… when he wants to.”
Neither player is a stranger to controversy. Recently, Kyrgios was fined a record $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct in his first round Wimbledon win against Briton Paul Jubb.
Kyrgios thanks Tsitsipas after winning their semifinal match at the Citi Open tennis tournament at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in Washington, DC in 2019
Tsitsipas infamously launched an epic tantrum at the ATP Cup in 2020 when he lost to Kyrgios, hit his coach and narrowly missed his own father with wayward balls – and got a lecture from his mother for his behaviour.
While Tsitsipas may be fifth in the world, Kyrgios has beaten him 3-1 in their head-to-head encounters and the Greek star knows a switched-on Kyrgios poses a huge threat to his grand slam ambition.
“Nick has more matches than me on this field. He claims to like grass and I think his game is good for the grass,” Tsitsipas said.
“I am absolutely thrilled to face him. I have a lot of respect for him on the pitch, what he’s trying to do, although he’s been a bit controversial.
“I think he plays good tennis. I’m going to focus on doing my thing and paying attention to my own game from start to finish.
“Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive game against him.”
Meanwhile, Kyrgios has been forced to controversially abandon his doubles campaign with compatriot and great friend Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The duo delighted the crowd when they won the Australian Open earlier this year and many fans were eager to see how their rev-up tactics would work on the traditional lawns of Wimbledon.
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios pose with the championship trophy after winning the Australian Open men’s final against compatriots Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell
However, Kyrgios has chosen to retire from doubles to ensure his body is fit for a true grand slam tilt at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
‘I am a singles player: my priority has always been singles. I’ve made quarter finals here before, I’ve won singles titles,” Kyrgios said.
‘In my first round I played almost four hours. Personally, it was just too much time on the track.
“I have an incredibly tough draw, but I will continue to take it match by match.
‘I’m excited. I feel like we both deserved it. We are two of the biggest stars in the sport. Hopefully if we both bring our best tennis it will be great to watch.”