Polarising Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios‘ advancement to Wimbledon’s third round was upstaged by the 20-year-old’s second spat with a Wimbledon official in as many matches, during a heated exchange with umpire Ali Nilli.
Kyrgios’ 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-4 victory against Argentine star Juan Monaco was tainted by Kyrgios’ spat over a linesman’s report that he was swearing – a move he brought up with on-court umpire Nilli. On court, while telling increasingly-riled up fans to “stop it“, Kyrgios asked Nilli: “But what did he say? Is that a threat? Is that a threat? Does it feel good to be in the chair up there? Does it feel strong to be up there?”
Following his win and advancement to Wimbledon’s third round, Nick Kyrgios told reporters at a press conference, “I just thought he thought he was top dog in the chair really. He was telling me not to speak to him, all that stuff. Doesn’t really matter, you know.”
Nick Kyrgios claimed that on-court tension came from the stress of the match, saying, “I’m in pain and I’m playing a tennis match at Wimbledon second round. A bit of stress out there.”
But – on-court spat or no on-court spat; it’s hard to fault homeboy’s increasingly tight game.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Kyrgios’ mother Nill Kyrgios leapt to her son’s defence over the incident, reminding us that most 20-year-olds are far from perfect.
“People need to think about when they were 20 and all the things they did themselves that may not be right, but people don’t care because they’re not in the public eye. They don’t get scrutinised.
“When I was 20 I was doing some mad things myself. Only a minority of people really know what it feels like when you’re out there doing your job, and you expect everybody to know the rules.”
Fellow Australian seeds Bernard Tomic and Samantha Stosur join Kyrgios in the third round.
Lead image by Clive Brunskill via Getty.