WIMBLEDON, England — Nick Kyrgios insulted the Wimbledon chair umpire and asked, “Are you stupid?”
He demanded to see a Grand Slam supervisor after asking why his opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t lose their always controversial and never boring match for angrily kicking a ball into the stands after losing the second set.
Kyrgios was unhappy with the response.
“What are you talking about, brother? asked Kyrgios. “Bring in more supervisors. I’m not finished. Take them all out. I do not care. …I won’t play until we get to the bottom of it all.”
The unpredictable and unseeded Kyrgios continued to play, beating fourth-seeded Tsitsipas 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) to reach the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time. since 2016.
There were a lot more antics and words. From underarm serves hit by the Kyrgios – including one between his legs – to three shots deliberately hit straight by Tsitsipas. A total of three code violations were called by chair umpire Damien Dumusois, one on Kyrgios for audible obscenity and two on Tsitsipas for ball abuse, earning him a penalty point.
There’s even been some terrific tennis along the way, with players combining for 118 winners. It all lasted 3 hours and 17 minutes, with no dull moment, and ended so late that the retractable roof of pitch 1 was closed and the artificial lights came on midway through the fourth set.
Tsitsipas held a pair of set points to force a fifth, but Kyrgios saved both, the latter with a half-volley winner after serving and stealing on a second serve.
Kyrgios, a 27-year-old Australian, converted his second match point with a bunt, then roared. That kind of talent has always been evident in Kyrgios, who was a two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist.
During a substitution midway through the fourth set on Saturday, Kyrgios sat in his chair, barking between bites on a banana. He didn’t know who he was shouting at.
He was previously fined $10,000 by the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct in his first-round match, which he ended by spitting in the direction of a spectator who he believed was heckling him.
His issues with the chair umpire began in the first set, when he was bothered by a reverse call by a linesman and wanted that official out.
After Kyrgios broke to grab the second set, Tsitsipas kicked a backhand ball into the crowd. The bullet appeared to ricochet off a wall, but what wasn’t entirely clear was whether it had landed on someone.
This drew just a warning, which didn’t sit well with Kyrgios.
“You can’t hit a ball into the crowd and hit somebody and not be faltering,” Kyrgios said, referring to the 2020 US Open episode involving Novak Djokovic, who was ejected from a match after inadvertently hitting a ball that struck a linesman in the throat.
At one point, Kyrgios said to the chair umpire: “You don’t know how to play, so how about you don’t tell me how to play?… Brother, people want to see me, not you. ”
Kyrgios will face Brandon Nakashima for a quarter-final spot on Monday. Nakashima is one of four American men in the fourth round, the most at Wimbledon since 1999.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.