August 16, 2022

Nick Kyrgios won a hard-fought match in five sets in the opening round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Thereafter, talk of the Australian focused on anything but his victory over Briton Paul Jubb.

Kyrgios admits to spitting on a fan

During the match, Kyrgios was seen complaining to chair umpire Marija Cicak about the spectators and officials on the pitch. At the end of the match, he turned around and spat at the fans in the stands. The incident was captured on BBC video.

Kyrgios was asked about the incident during his post-match press conference. He admitted the spitting was directed at a fan.

“From one of the people who disrespects me,” Kyrgios told reporters (6:08 below). “I wouldn’t do that to someone who supported me.”

Kyrgios confirmed that he asked Cicak to remove the fans.

“I’m ok with getting a lot of it,” Kyrgios said of the fan ruckus. “What I don’t understand is as soon as I give it back – for example, I gave it back, I got a game penalty. Today, as soon as I won the game, I feel I turned to him with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owe this person anything.

“He literally came to the game to literally not even support anyone, really. It was more just to stir and disrespect. That’s fine. If I give it back to you, that’s how it is.”

Kyrgios laments fans’ ‘lack of respect’

Kyrgios has repeatedly said that he was racially abused by fans. He clarified that Tuesday’s incident did not involve racism.

“Not today,” he said (:50) “But a lot of disrespect was thrown around today by the crowd. I’m just starting to think that’s normal, when it isn’t. really isn’t. I didn’t say anything to the crowd until they started – every time I went down to the bottom, people went. …

“I just don’t understand why onlookers think they are capable of doing this. Just pure disrespect. Just nonsense. Someone just yelled that I was ‘s***’ in the crowd today. Is this normal? No. I just don’t understand why this happens over and over again.”

He said that while he hadn’t heard any racist taunts on Tuesday, “it happens all the time and nothing happens.”

Kyrgios dedicated his victory to his hecklers during his post-match on-pitch interview.

“The crowd was pretty rowdy today,” Kyrgios said. “A few people in the crowd don’t hesitate to criticize me. This one was for you. You know who you are.”

Kyrgios slams linesman: ‘The old man called him’

During his press conference, Kyrgios was also asked about his complaints regarding the refereeing. A reporter asked if he had told a linesman: “You’re over 90, you can’t see the ball.” He denied saying that, but referred to age and a linesman’s view of a call he said was missed.

“I said most referees are older, and I just don’t think that’s ideal when you’re playing a sport with such small margins,” Kyrgios said (2:30). “Because actually younger people have better eyesight. …

“When you’re playing a sport for hundreds and thousands of dollars, don’t you think we should have people who are really willing to call the ball in or get it out?… In fact, is that someone has a better view when they ‘Are you younger?… That specific thing. I hit a ball. The old man called her.’

Australian Nick Kyrgios reacts during his first round match against Britain’s Paul Jubb (Reuters/Hannah Mckay)

Kyrgios also admitted to calling a linesman a “snitch”.

“She did that,” Kyrgios said. “I didn’t do anything, and she went to the referee and said something to him that I didn’t say. It’s called whistleblowing. In fact, what happened .”

Kyrgios, who is unseeded, lost the first set on Tuesday before rallying to defeat Jubb, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-5. He will face No. 26 Filip Krajinovic of Serbia in the second round.