Tennis is a gentleman’s game… allegedly, anyway.
Sometimes, though, the gentlemen’s game throws us some real curveballs – and I’m not just talking about shocking results from the world of online sports betting.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios played a bizarre tennis match on Saturday. And when I say bizarre, I mean bizarre.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Nick Kyrgios
On Friday, I had bet Kyrgios to beat Tsitsipas, which is why I had the match flipped on my secondary TV in the first place. However, the four sets that followed over the course of Saturday afternoon were so, so strange.
Kyrgios was talking a whole lot of junk. Tsitsipas intentionally fired balls directly at the body of Kyrgios. Both players received point penalties for bad behavior.
At one point, Tsitsipas hit a ball into the crowd out of frustration, which is a big no-no in tennis. It ricocheted off the ball and hit a spectator in the back of the head.
In response, Kyrgios refused to continue playing until he could speak with a series of rules officials. He believed that Tsitsipas should have been defaulted from the match by the umpire for such behavior.
Throughout the marathon match, the two-way antics bloated the run time here – the ABC television commentators were just beside themselves with scorn for how both players (particularly Kyrgios) had comported themselves.
This is an argument that some tennis betting fans – particularly Kyrgios fans – are tired of hearing. Traditionalists see a bull in a china shop who’s prone to temper tantrums and mental mistakes. Still, younger fans see an iconoclast bringing a different energy to a sport prone to stuffiness.
Both groups would probably agree that Saturday was a bit out of hand.
Stefanos Tsitsipas Press Conference
I will pay $200 right now for a Nick Kyrgios pay-per-view press conference
— Chase Kiddy (@chaseakiddy) July 2, 2022
As you can imagine, the press conferences after such a match were watched by tens of thousands more sports fans than is typical for a third-round Wimbledon match.
I’ll include the full press conference below, but in short: Tsitsipas called Kyrgios “evil” and “a bully.”
Kyrgios, in turn, called Tsitsipas soft.
Tsitsipas, the No. 4 seed at Wimbledon this year, has a 5-5 all-time record at Wimbledon. He’s never paid it past the fourth round.
Kyrgios followed up his Saturday win by defeating Brandon Nakashima, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. Next, he will play Christian Garin in the quarterfinal – his deepest run in any major tournament since the 2015 Australian Open.
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