Nick Kyrgios labels Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘soft’ and reacts to ‘evil bully’ accusation at Wimbledon

Nick Kyrgios called Stefanos Tsitsipas “soft” after the Australian rejected accusations that he was “evil” and a “bully” following their heated third-round match at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios was involved in a constant exchange with the umpire during his fiery four-set win and insisted that he did nothing to “disrespect” his opponent during the contest.

Tsitsipas, the tournament’s fourth seed, was upset in four dramatic sets by Kyrgios that saw both players handed code violations after losing their temper.

The Greek player apologised after whacking a ball into the crowd in frustration, narrowly avoiding the head of a spectator, but said he had been “triggered” by the behaviour of Kyrgios on the other side of the net.

“He’s that soft, to come in here and say I bullied him, that’s just soft,” Kyrgios said. “We’re not cut from the same cloth. If he’s affected by that today, then that’s what’s holding him back, because someone can just do that and that’s going to throw him off his game like that. I just think it’s soft.”

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Tsitsipas responded to the “constant talking” from Kyrgios by aiming balls at his opponent. “I don’t know what to say. I’m not sure how I bullied him,” Kyrgios said. “He was the one hitting balls at me, he was the one that hit a spectator, he was the one that smacked it out of the stadium.

“I didn’t do anything. I was actually like, apart from me just going back and forth to the umpire for a bit, I did nothing towards Stefanos today that was disrespectful, I don’t think. I was not drilling him with balls.”

Tsitsipas, who appeared at the post-match press conference before Kyrgios complained: “It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He bullies the opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like people that put other people down.

“He has some good traits in his character, as well. But when he, he also has a very evil side to him, which if it’s exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him.

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“Myself, when I feel like other people disrespect me and don’t respect what I’m doing from the other side of the court, it’s absolute normal from my side to act and do something about it.”

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