Despite his 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5 victory over British no. 8 Paul Jubb in a first-round Wimbledon tie on Tuesday, it was once again behavioural issues that are the talk of the town surrounding the controversial Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios.
In the aftermath of the first-round match, plenty of people caught the moment Kyrgios spat towards the fans and have since posted the clips onto social media. The incident occurred after the winning point, with the Aussie looking back in anger at the fans who he claims were disrespectful throughout.
Kyrgios was quick to defend his actions in the post-match press conference, admitting having performed the action purposely and explaining: “I would not be doing that to someone who was supporting me.”
The Australian added: “I’ve been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owed that person anything.”
Regarding the individual fan that Kyrgios claimed was the subject of his spitting, the 27-year-old claimed: “He literally came to the match to not even support anyone really, just to stir up disrespect. That’s fine, but if I give it back to you, that’s just how it is.”
While spitting on a fan remains unacceptable, it is clear that Kyrgios is growing very unhappy with the nature of tennis crowds in recent times, having been racially abused in the Stuttgart Open semi-final against Andy Murray earlier this month.
The Australian confirmed that he was not racially abused at Wimbledon yesterday, however, stated: “But a lot of disrespect was being thrown today from the crowds. I’m just starting to think that it’s normal when it’s really not.”
The controversial player put forward his theory as to the growing disrespect and abuse by tennis fans, arguing: “I just think it’s a whole generation of people like on social media feeling like they have a right to comment on every single thing with negativity. It just carries on to real life.”
Kyrgios continued: “Spectators in general think there’s just no line there anymore. You can just bash someone on social media and there’s no real consequence. Now, whether it’s racial abuse or just disrespect, it’s acceptable. My brother has alopecia, and they joke about him being a cancer patient.”
The Canberra-born player was seen urging umpire Marija Cicak to remove disruptive and disrespectful fans during the match, as well as dealing with the fans directly, of course, by the unusual method of spitting at them.
It is now in the hands of the administrators to decide the consequences of Kyrgios’ comments and behaviour, with emphasis on the spit no doubt.
However, they will take his press conference defence and conversation with the umpire about disrespectful fans into consideration to determine whether the controversial Australian should face disciplinary sanction.