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Australian tennis legend Pat Cash has launched a scathing attack on Nick Kyrgios, accusing him of cheating, abusing and taking tennis to new depths.
Commenting on Kyrgios’ spiteful barn burner of a win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday, the 1987 Wimbledon winner said the controversial Canberra showman was turning the game into a circus.
Both men were beaten on Sunday for their somber behavior.
Tsitsipas was fined $10,000 (US$14,700) for hitting a ball that narrowly missed the crowd, and Kyrgios, who had already received the same penalty after failing in his game in the first who spat round was awarded an additional US$4,000 ($6,000) for his theatrics.
As Kyrgios earned his first-ever center-court date of the Championships in a fourth-round clash with American Brandon Nakashima on Monday, Cash said clearly, “Let’s hope he doesn’t lower the tennis there to a lower level than Saturday. “
Cash wasn’t the only luminary to denounce Kyrgios, as Mats Wilander and even the biggest “bad boy” of them all, John McEnroe, both weighed in.
In Saturday’s competition, Tsitsipas could have easily defaulted for smacking the ball into the crowd and Kyrgios, who had directed foul-mouthed tirades at hapless chair umpire Damien Dumusois, tried to get the official to do just that.
The Greek, who twice also deliberately aimed to hit his opponent with the ball, afterwards claimed the Australian was a bully and had a “wicked side”, while Kyrgios shrugged that Tsitsipas was just soft and had “serious problems”. “.
But Cash was disgusted with his compatriot in the BBC comment box.
“It was absolute chaos,” he said on BBC radio on Sunday.
“He took tennis to the lowest level I can see in terms of skill, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behavior towards umpires and linesmen.
“He was lucky to get through the first set at all, he should have defaulted in the first set.
“Something has to be done about this – it’s just an absolute circus. Is it entertaining? Yes, maybe. Now the absolute limit has been reached.”
Pressing the cheat, Cash added: “The art of the game. The abuse he gave.
“Tsitsipas would make a phone call and he would go up there and start complaining, he would look him in the face – that’s part of the art of the game, that’s the kind of stuff he does and I think there’s a limit .
“I don’t mind a little bit of playcraft, but when it gets to that level I think it just gets out of hand.
“The way it was, the referee lost control. The ball kids ran across the pitch when Kyrgios hit, he didn’t brake for anything.
“Tsitsipas was drawn right in – so it was entertaining and intriguing, but it’s gone too far for me now.”
Cash was speaking after being on center court at the centenary parade of former champions, but he’s clearly worried about how Kyrgios might behave there.
Three-time Australian Open winner Wilander told Eurosport: “I’ve never seen anything like it.
“I’m not sure I want to see something like that again to be honest because I don’t think we want to encourage that in tennis. We don’t want to promote it as entertainment.
“We want to promote it as inspirational and educational, but that’s what people might want to see. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of what’s happening right now, to be honest.”
The biggest irony was McEnroe’s attack while commentating for ESPN. “It’s embarrassing. He doesn’t have to do any of that,” said the man who was once dubbed ‘Superbrat’ on SW19 for his behavior but is now one of his favorite characters.
“It’s scary how good he is — that’s sad in a way.”
https://www.theroar.com.au/2022/07/04/brought-tennis-to-the-lowest-level-aussie-icons-blistering-serve-for-kyrgios/ The Australian icon's serve to Kyrgios