It didn’t take place on the iconic Centre Court, but the Third Round match at Wimbledon 2022 between No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios gave fans the most thrilling watch of the tournament thus far.
Known for his combativeness on the court, Kyrgios certainly showed that here, but overcame himself to defeat Tsitsipas, 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7).
The climax of Kyrgios’ frustrations came ahead of the pivotal third set, after he won the second set, 6-4. Tsitsipas, frustrated after dropping the set, back-handed a ball into the stands, which typically would result in disciplinary action from the chair umpire.
Kyrgios argued Tsitsipas should have been defaulted for the action. Chair umpire Damien Dumusois didn’t see it that way, leading Kyrgios to engage in a short protest.
“You can’t hit a ball into a crowd and hit someone and not be defaulted,” Kyrgios shouted at Dumusois. “I would like to speak a supervisor. I’m not playing until I speak to a supervisor. Bring out more supervisors. I’m not done. Bring them all out.”
Kyrgios wasn’t done with his theatrics, calling Dumusois a disgrace and shortly thereafter receiving a code violation for swearing.
“The amount of shit the tournament is going to get after this press conference,” Kyrgios said during the blow-up.
Kyrgios was able to regain his composure during the third set, but not before Tsitsipas began to show glimpses of his fiery side on the court. Tsitsipas hit the Australian three times in about five minutes, angry over the attitude of Kyrgios.
The theatrics extended over to the on-court play — especially in the fourth set — which had to be decided by a tiebreaker. Kyrgios would pick up both the set and match victory, letting out a thunderous roar in celebration.
After the match, Kyrgios said he had the “ultimate respect” for Tsitsipas.
“I felt like the favourite coming in. I played in a couple of weeks ago but I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Kyrgios said. “He’s a hell of a player and it was a hell of a match. I’m just super happy to be through. He was getting frustrated at times – it’s a frustrating sport. You all think you can play, but it’s very frustrating.
“I’ve got ultimate respect for him. Whatever happens on the sport, I love him and I’m close to his brother so …”
Not only did Kyrgios pick up one of the biggest wins of his singles career, he advances to the Sweet 16 at Wimbledon for the first time since 2016. Next up for Kyrgios is a matchup against unseeded American Brandon Nakashima on Monday.