Nick Kyrgios appeared to make light of the storm engulfing him at Wimbledon, even after being accused of “cheating” by fellow Australian Pat Cash and picking up his second fine of the tournament.
The All England Club announced on Sunday night that Kyrgios had been fined $4,000 for a verbal obscenity during his controversial victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas – to add to the $10,000 he was fined for spitting towards a spectator – and, shortly after, he posted a laughing emoji on Twitter.
Kyrgios was warned for swearing on Saturday and also called for Tsitsipas to be defaulted after the Greek hit a ball close to a spectator’s head. Tsitsipas later labelled Kyrgios a “bully” with “an evil side”.
Kyrgios said he did nothing disrespectful towards Tsitsipas, saying the Greek “was the one hitting balls at me, he was the one that hit a spectator, he was the one that smacked it out of the stadium”.
Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, told the BBC that the match was “absolute mayhem” and accused his compatriot of dragging the sport down. “He’s brought tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behaviour to umpires, to linesmen,” he said. “Something has got to be done about it. It’s just an absolute circus. It’s gone to the absolute limit now.”
Cash said that the umpire Damien Dumusois had “lost control” but highlighted Kyrgios’s behaviour.
“Tsitsipas would make a line call and he’d go up there and start complaining, he’d be in his face – that’s part of gamesmanship, that’s the sort of stuff he does and I think there’s a limit.”
The tennis world is split on whether Kyrgios is good or bad for the game and Sally Bolton, the chief executive of the All England Club, stressed that Wimbledon did not have a preconceived idea of how a winner should behave. “We don’t have a clear view of what we consider to be a perfect champion – it’s a very long way to go to the finals so let’s see what happens,” she said.
Of the suggestion that players might be acting up due to the presence of additional cameras for a future Netflix documentary, Bolton added: “It is not something I have observed or heard fed back.”