Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash said fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios was guilty of “cheating” and “gamesmanship” in his ill-tempered third-round win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, and that his antics had damaged the sport’s standing.
Kyrgios, fined $10,000 after his first-round match for spitting towards a fan, was warned for swearing on Saturday and then called for Tsitsipas to be defaulted after the Greek hit a ball close to a spectator’s head after losing the second set.
Tsitsipas later labelled Kyrgios a “bully” with “an evil side”, while the Australian said he did nothing disrespectful towards the Greek in the match.
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Kyrgios also questioned Tsitsipas’s remarks about bullying, saying the Greek “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”.
Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, told BBC Radio on Sunday that the match was “absolute mayhem”.
“He’s brought tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behaviour to umpires, to linesmen,” he added.
“Something has got to be done about it. It’s just an absolute circus.
“It’s gone to the absolute limit now.”
Cash added that the chair umpire had “lost control” of the proceedings but “the gamesmanship, the abuse” Kyrgios was displaying was tantamount to “cheating”.
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“Tsitsipas would make a line call and he’d go up there and start complaining, he’d be in his face – that’s part of gamesmanship, that’s the sort of stuff he does and I think there’s a limit.”
A $4,000 fine for Saturday’s abuse was added to Kyrgios’s tally while organisers also fined Tsitsipas $10,000 for slamming the tennis ball in anger.
Kyrgios will take on unseeded American Brandon Nakashima on Centre Court later on Monday bidding to reach his first Grand Slam singles quarter-final since 2015, and Cash was worried about what he would do next.
“Let’s hope he doesn’t drop tennis there to a lower level than he did on Saturday,” Cash said.