The Canberran beat British wildcard Paul Jubb in five sets, 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-7 (4) 7-5, but not even 15 minutes had passed in the match when he bristled at the chair umpire, taking exception to an apparent complaint made by a line judge.
It’s not known what the lineswoman said, but she made her way to chair umpire Marija Cicak during the first set to supposedly complain about a remark from the former world No.13.
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Kyrgios — who eventually ground out victory in a tick over three hours to set up a match against the winner of Filip Krajinovic and Jiri Lehecka — even labelled the line judge a “snitch”.
“Has one person today come to see her speak? No … why is she doing that? Not one person in the stadium has come here to watch her do anything. Not one person. Like, you know what I mean?” a seething Kyrgios said to the chair umpire between games.
“I know you got fans, but she got none.
Kyrgios spits in direction of hecklers
“What did I do?
“Come on … she just selfishly walks to you in the middle of a game because she’s a snitch. Like, come on now.”
Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge took Kyrgios’ side as he unpacked the lineswoman incident.
“I don’t know what he said, we didn’t pick it up, but it’s something that she felt she needed to tell the umpire, (whether) it was a piece of language that he used that perhaps was not appropriate,” Woodbridge said on the Stan Sport coverage.
“And because of that, that lineswoman has now inserted herself into the match in (a way that) Nick doesn’t feel was necessary.
“I probably tend to agree with him.
“I think even Maria would have preferred that she didn’t.”
Kyrgios was again triggered while serving during the second set, when he hit the ball into the net and a fan clapped.
“What is that?” he snarled as he gestured to the All England Club crowd.
Kyrgios renewed his gripe with the chair umpire between games.
“They’re spectators who spend money to come watch us play. They should be removed,” Kyrgios said.
“I don’t go up to their face and go to them … and start clapping when they start scanning sh-t at a supermarket, do I? Like, ‘Boooo, yeah, well done, you can’t scan that piece of sh-t’. Like, do I say that? No.
“They have no right to do that. So, why does it keep happening?”
Kyrgios then made a point of Wimbledon’s clothing policy while claiming disrespect directed at him was being allowed.
“Pure disrespect from a spectator to an athlete but you don’t accept a hat with two logos. So you don’t accept a hat with two logos but pure disrespect from a spectator to an athlete is fine,” Kyrgios said.
“So where’s the line? If that’s acceptable, then racism’s acceptable? So when does it stop? Where’s the line?
“It’s been happening for years now. Years.
“I would say the same thing if they were clapping between his (Jubb’s) first and second serves, or if they were making racial slurs to him, I would say the same thing.”
After closing out the match in three hours and five minutes, Kyrgios then spat in the direction of the hecklers, which he confirmed post-match.
“In the direction of one of the people disrespecting me, yes,” he admitted.
“I would not do that to someone who was supporting me.”
It’s not clear if Kyrgios was claiming he had been targeted with racial slurs during his match against Jubb, but that was the case at the Stuttgart Open early in June.
The Stuttgart Open is investigating after the 27-year-old claimed he was racially abused by the crowd in his semi-final against Andy Murray.
“The crowd was pretty rowdy today,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview after beating Jubb.
“A couple of people in the crowd were not shy of criticising me. So, that one was for you. You know who you are.”
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