Nick Kyrgios has reignited his feud with Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek star fired a ‘clown’ jibe in his direction. The pair's war of words began during a heated clash at Wimbledon last summer.
The 27-year-old Aussie won the match in four sets, but the performance was overshadowed by the verbal exchanges between the players which resulted in the pair receiving code violations. But this past weekend, the Greek star revisited the feud after he accused the world No 20 of 'breaking' their relationship.
This prompted a response from Kyrgios, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury. Tennis journalist Luigi Gatto had tweeted: "Tsitsipas on Kyrgios: 'He was the one who broke our relationship. I didn't do anything.
“In 2022 Wimbledon I was only trying to compete, while he was playing the clown. It also depends on how he wakes up each day'."
Not one to hold back, Kyrgios shared the tweet, and added his own jibe: "Right….. this the match he hit someone in the crowd…..," he wrote. "Belted another ball out of the stadium and got taught a lesson in front of another full stadium."
The pair seemed to quash any animosity toward one another late last year, as they played doubles together at the Diriyah Tennis Cup, but that share respect seems to have diminished.
Both players lost their temper during Kyrgios’ 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) victory on Wimbledon's Court One last July. Kyrgios received a warning for an obscenity, while Tsitsipas was given a point penalty for a code violation as he responded to an underarm serve by hitting the ball away in frustration. The fourth seed apologised after he smashed a ball into the crowd in anger which narrowly avoided the head of a fan.
However, he claimed he was ‘triggered’ by the behaviour of his Australian opponent. Kyrgios called for Tsitsipas to be defaulted for the incident and kicked off a constant exchange with the umpire during the heated four-set match while insisting he did nothing to ‘disrespect’ or ‘bully’ his opponent during the match.
“It’s constant bullying, that’s what he does,” Tsitsipas said. “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 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.
“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.”
Afterwards, Kyrgios responded to being branded a bully by Tsitsipas in characteristic fashion as he declared: “I'm not sure how I was able to bully someone in the third round of Wimbledon. I was just playing tennis.” Both players suffered more consequences for their actions post-match as Tsitsipas was fined £8,200, while Kyrgios was hit with a £3,300 bill.