Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas played out a bad-tempered, high-tempo match on Saturday, 2 July, with Kyrgios coming out the victor after a 6-7 6-4 6-3 7-6 win on Wimbledon’s Court No. 1. It was a match which saw controversy and anger from both sides, with Kyrgios able to channel that into his tennis and beat the number 4 seed in what was undoubtedly the match of the tournament so far.
However, caught up in the adrenaline of the moment, both players perhaps strayed a step too far, at fault for unsportsmanlike conduct on occasion throughout the match, and walked away with fines for their trouble. Much of this had faded away by the high-quality fourth set, but the battle lines had been drawn, and even the post-match press conferences consisted of each player talking about the other’s poor attitude on court.
Kyrgios, who is known for not shying away from dialogue with chair umpires or the crowd, spend many parts of the second and third sets complaining about line calls or warnings handed to him. On two occasions, line judges walked up to the chair umpire and reported on Kyrgios for using audible obscenity, and after the match he was fined $4000, bringing his total for the tournament to $14,000 dollars.
Tsitsipas reacted poorly to dropping the second set, letting his frustration at Kyrgios show. On multiple occasions he chose to fire balls right at Kyrgios’s body when he had the opportunity, and once hit a ball into the crowd in anger. Luckily for him, it did not hit anybody, otherwise he might have been defaulted. However, his poor behaviour was charged with a $10,000 dollar fine.
Kyrgios would up his game in the 4th set tiebreak, using a weapon of a serve to keep one of the world’s best players at bay. Kyrgios and Tsitsipas have previously played doubles with each other, but bad blood seeped into this match, and is sure to make future meetings between the two very interesting.
Kyrgios qualified for the fourth round, where he will play American Brandon Nakashima. With the draw diluted due to the ban on Russian players, several Covid-withdrawals, and seeded players being knocked out early, Kyrgios will see this as a great opportunity to use his weapons and natural talent to make a deep run at the tournament.