Nick Kyrgios has landed himself at the centre of Tuesday’s Wimbledon talking points, but not for the standard of his tennis playing.
It took just 12 minutes for the Australian — who is known to be rather hot-headed — to lose his temper during his first match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
The haphazard encounter featured a flurry of outbursts from Kyrgios, who smashed a ball out of the court and exploded at a line judge.
The 27-year-old’s frustrations started in the first set when he complained about a member of the crowd speaking during points, and he became more irate as the match went on.
“You can’t f***ing decide to talk to me in the middle of the point when I’m about to do a backhand, it can’t be happening bro,” he said to umpire Marija Cicak about the spectator in question.
Later in the match, Kyrgios readdressed the umpire and claimed he had heard “racial slurs” coming from the crowd.
“So pure disrespect from a spectator to an athlete is acceptable at Wimbledon? But you don’t accept a hat with two logos? When’s the line? That’s acceptable, racism is acceptable so when does it stop? So where’s the line?”
The Aussie then complained about people in the crowd booing him, and suggested Cicak remove them from the stands.
Opponent Paul Jubb got under the skin of Kyrgios after breaking his serve, which the world number 40 responded to by hitting the ball forcefully out of Court 3.
To add to his outbursts, Kyrgios lost his temper with the line judge and ranted that the female official in question was “a snitch” to the umpire.
“Has one person today come to see her [the line judge] speak?” a furious Kyrgios said to the umpire.
“No. I understand, but why is she doing that? Not one person in the stadium has come here to watch her do anything. Not one person. Like, you know what I mean? You got fans, but she has got none.
“What did I do? Like, come on. I know, but what? She just selfishly walks to you in the middle of a game because she’s a snitch.”
The Australian’s behaviour at Wimbledon is not something that is unfamiliar to tennis fans. Kyrgios is almost renowned for his outbursts and temper tantrums on the court.
During the 2019 Washington Open, he violently threw his water bottle at the umpire’s chair. Kyrgios claimed the bottle ‘slipped out of his hand’ but the force of it hitting the chair caused the label to come off and stick to the surface.
But despite the drama throughout the tournament, Kyrgios went on to win the title, beating Daniil Medvedev in the final.
That same year, the Aussie was issued a $167,000 AUD (£94,800) fine after his meltdown at the Cincinnati Open.
He insulted the umpire, appeared to spit in his direction and then proceeded to smash two racquets after leaving the court following a defeat to Karen Khachanov.
Just last month, Kyrgios himself admitted he had paid out as much as $800,000 AUD (£454,000) in tennis fines over his career so far.