Wimbledon officials have dished out their punishments following one of the fieriest encounters seen at the All England Club in years.
Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas played out a thrilling and dramatic third-round match on Saturday morning (AEST) before trading ferocious barbs in the post-match press conferences.
In the video above: Post-game TV blunder after Kyrgios’ big win
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Following his four-set loss to the Aussie star, Tsitsipas accused Kyrgios of being a bully with an “evil side”, accusing the Canberran of turning the match into a circus.
Kyrgios, who at one point in the match refused to play until his fourth seeded opponent was defaulted, responded by calling Tsitsipas “soft”.
Now the pair have been hit hard for their antics with Tsitsipas fined $US10,000 ($A14,700) for hitting a ball which narrowly missed spectators and Kyrgios.
Kyrgios was slugged a further $US4000 ($A6000) for an audible obscenity, following a $A14,400 fine received earlier in the tournament for spitting in the direction of fans.
The fallout from Kyrgios’ big win doesn’t end there either, with a number of tennis greats lining up to take shots at the Australian for dragging tennis down to new depths.
Tennis great Pat Cash launched a particularly blistering attack on Kyrgios, accusing his fellow Australian of cheating and abuse after commentating on Kyrgios’s spiteful barn burner of a victory over Tsitsipas.
With Kyrgios given his first centre-court date of the championships on Monday in a fourth-round clash with American Brandon Nakashima, Cash said pointedly: “Let’s hope he doesn’t drop tennis there to a lower level than he did on Saturday.”
Cash wasn’t the only luminary to lambast Kyrgios, as Mats Wilander and even the greatest ‘bad boy’ of them all, John McEnroe, both weighed in.
But Cash, in the BBC commentary box, was left disgusted by his compatriot.
“It was absolute mayhem,” he said on BBC radio.
“He’s brought tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behaviour to umpires, to linesmen.
“He was lucky to even get through the first set, he should have been defaulted in the first set.
“Something’s got to be done about it – it’s just an absolute circus. Is it entertaining? Yeah, possibly. It’s gone to the absolute limit now.”
Pressed on the cheating, Cash added: “The gamesmanship. The abuse he was giving.
“Tsitsipas would make a line call and he’d go up there and start complaining, he’d be in his face – that’s part of gamesmanship, that’s the sort of stuff he does and I think there’s a limit.
“I have no problems with a bit of gamesmanship but, when it gets to that level, I think it’s just out of control.
“As it was, the umpire lost control. The ball kids were running across the court as Kyrgios was serving, he didn’t slow down for any of that stuff.
“Tsitsipas got sucked right into it – so it was entertaining and fascinating, but for me it’s gone too far now.”
Cash was speaking after he’d been on centre court for the centenary parade of former champions but he’s evidently concerned at the prospect of how Kyrgios might conduct himself there.
Three-time Australian Open champion Wilander told Eurosport: “I’ve never seen anything like it.
“I’m not sure I want to see something like that again, to be honest, because I don’t think this is what we want to promote in tennis. We want to not promote it as entertainment.
“We want to promote it as inspirational, educational, but this is what people maybe want to see. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of what’s going on, to be honest.”
The greatest irony was McEnroe’s attack while commentating for ESPN. “It’s embarrassing. He doesn’t need to do all this,” said the man once dubbed ‘Superbrat’ at SW19 for his behaviour but is now one of its favourite fixtures.
“It’s scary how good he is – that’s what’s sad in a way.”
– With AAP