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"A player who cops it very hard": Nick Kyrgios not just fighting opponents at Wimbledon
The Australian held off wild card Paul Jubb in five sets, but had multiple run-ins beyond his first-round opponent on Tuesday.
Published Jun 29, 2022
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Nick Kyrgios has has a tough road so far at Wimbledon, having to beat his first-round opponent, the crowd, linespeople, not to mention himself—all just to reach the second round.
The 27-year-old Aussie went five sets against British wild card Paul Jubb in his opener, and complained repeatedly about some of the spectators in the stands.
Having often become involved in on-court controversy during his career, Kyrgios says he's become a "player who cops it very hard" from the stands. Most of the crowd was backing the local player, and some appeared to be going further.
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. I've never, ever just gone to anyone else's job and just blatantly spat, disrespected them. I don't understand why people do that to athletes. Nick Kyrgios, following his first-round win
Kyrgios had also previously said he received abuse from spectators during the grass-court event in Stuttgart a few weeks ago.
"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," he said.
Though he has complained about getting penalized when responding to unruly fans, Kyrgios was unapologetic as he acknowledged he had spat in the direction of someone who had been bothering him during the contest.
"I would not be doing that to someone who was supporting me," he said.
Kyrgios also called a linesperson a "snitch" during the contest and said younger people should be calling lines on court. He defended his comments following the encounter.
"No, I said most of the umpires are older, and I just don't think that's ideal when you're playing a sport of such small margins," he said.
He said his own angry displays towards officials isn't the same as what he's receiving.
They're not getting abused on social media. There's hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Kyrgios, on officials that are seemingly not penalized for their errors
Kyrgios also kept some criticism for himself, praising Jubb's performance but saying he had not shown the same tennis as he did getting to semifinals at Stuttgart and Halle in recent weeks.
"From a level standpoint, that's probably one of the worst matches I've ever played at Wimbledon," he said. "Some of the problems came from him.
"Yeah, it was probably one of the hardest matches I've played at Wimbledon, mentally. Obviously it's not easy, the whole crowd. I'm pretty proud of myself to be able to sit here as the winner."
Kyrgios next plays Filip Krajinovic—along with anyone else he decides to take on—in the second round.