Nick Kyrgios Continues To Be A Lightning Rod For Controversy At Wimbledon [Video]
by Tom Gainey | July 7th, 2015, 9:01 am

Just 20, Nick Kyrgios is already one of the most controversial figures in tennis. The Australian is part shotmaker, part showman and part clown, as we have seen this Wimbledon.

Yesterday, during a 4-set loss to Richard Gasquet, Kyrgios had all his quirks on display. Hugging ballkids, arguing with the officials and at one point was visibly tanking, letting the Frenchman’s serves go flying by without any effort of returning them.

When asked about the lack of effort, Kyrios became contentious:

Q. A subject from the second set. It seemed to us you stopped trying for a game. You weren’t returning shots. You weren’t going for the shots. Can you explain what happened, in your words?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, today, there was a lot of ups and downs. Obviously, you know, it was a tough, tough time, especially when, you know, he’s not missing any balls. I’m getting frustrated myself. I feel as if I’m playing not how I should be playing. I’m angry at myself.

Obviously I wasn’t really happy with the way I was performing out there. I obviously lacked a bit of energy.

I thought I responded well, though, to even come back and won the third set. Obviously 6­4 in the fourth set serving. Yeah, I mean…

Q. So you’re not denying that, that you stopped for that game?
NICK KYRGIOS: Denying what?

Q. You’re denying that you stopped playing that game?
NICK KYRGIOS: I kept playing.

Q. For that moment, you weren’t returning.
NICK KYRGIOS: And that’s coming from you? That’s your opinion.

THE MODERATOR: Next question.

Q. I was going to ask you about the same moment. Like what happened after that code violation? What happened in the next game?
NICK KYRGIOS: Just frustration. I mean, it’s tough out there. You know, I don’t really know what else to say.

You know, I’m not perfect out there. I’m going to have ups and downs. That’s the way you respond from that. I think it takes some serious balls to respond the way I did.

Q. Did the crowd misjudge you when they started booing?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, and then I started playing well and they started cheering.

Did you hear that, too?

Q. Yes.
NICK KYRGIOS: That’s okay.

Q. It’s rare to hear that at Wimbledon.

Q. Can you give a proper explanation why you didn’t return those serves? Looked like you were tanking the set. A proper explanation, please.
NICK KYRGIOS: What’s the question?

Q. Looked like you weren’t returning the serves.
NICK KYRGIOS: Do you want to try to return Richard Gasquet’s serve? I’ll give you the racquet and we’ll see how many times you can return his serve also.

Q. You’re a professional tennis player. I’m not.
NICK KYRGIOS: Okay. He served too good.

Q. So you didn’t even try to return. You walked away on a couple occasions.
THE MODERATOR: We’re going to take two questions at a time.

Q. A proper explanation as to why you didn’t return the serve.
NICK KYRGIOS: How many aces did he hit that game? One? That game, did he hit one ace?

Q. Is that an explanation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Did he hit one ace? I’m asking you the question.

Q. I don’t know.

THE MODERATOR: The lady over in the corner.

Q. Nick, do you want to deny it?

Q. You don’t want to deny it, deny the accusation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Deny what?

Q. The accusation being put forward that you didn’t try that game in the second set.
NICK KYRGIOS: No, of course, I tried.

Q. That game you’re saying you tried?
NICK KYRGIOS: He hit serve past me as an ace. That’s too good. That’s too good.

Q. It looked like you didn’t move?
NICK KYRGIOS: I did move.

THE MODERATOR: Can I just say, I said at the start, we’re going to do hands up and take two questions per person. It’s going to be very difficult to organize this for 15 minutes if everybody keeps asking a number of questions.

I’d like to let the lady here ask the next question. Thank you very much for your respect to the press conference.

Roger Federer added his thoughts, saying, “I think we shouldn’t dig too deep into those kind of things. If you told me he did an entire set, plus more, plus this, I’d say, Okay, it’s a bit much probably. But I just watched the end of the third, the end of the fourth. He was fighting then. He was really wanting to win. He should have been in the fifth at the end. In my opinion, it was a great match and it was close. The fans got their money’s worth, in my opinion. It was a close match last year. He saved nine match points against Richard. Today two.”

Kyrgios now heads back home to prepare for the summer hardcourts ready for Australia’s home tie against Kazakhstan.

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25 Comments for Nick Kyrgios Continues To Be A Lightning Rod For Controversy At Wimbledon [Video]

Eric Says:

This is silly. Every player lets their opponent hit a service winner to get out of a game sometimes. Even Djokovic does it just about every match. If Kyrgios did anything wrong, it was failing to be more discreet.

But let’s not pretend that he’s the only one who has ever stopped playing 100% for a point or two.

Tennisfan Says:

There was a major controversy today in Australia where Dawn Fraser essentially told Kyrgios and Tomic to “go back to where you came from.” Thankfully she was called out for her bigotry and ended up apologising. It was so disgraceful coming from a so-called Australian sport legend.
Nick’s behaviour is definitely unacceptable but that’s got nothing to do with him coming from an immigrant family.

Wog Boy Says:


Spot on. I watched news all evening, Dawn Fraser was torn to pieces and rightfully so.

SG1 Says:

There are these people called fans. They pay money (…usually a lot of it) to watch professional tennis players play tennis, not to see a players childishly tank points away. And there is a difference between strategically letting some points go vs. what Kyrgios did. Kyrgios’ brand of tanking has to be dealt with swiftly and harshly!

I think Kyrgios is a tremendous talent but I also think the ATP has to step in and suspend him for this. He’s cheating people out of what they paid to see. Not at all acceptable.

Jack Lewis Says:

Kyrgios is a loser. He looks like a loser, acts like a loser. I guess he can go back to his stupid video games and forget about tennis. Thank goodness for small favors.

SG1 Says:

The Q&A above is even more disconcerting. Kyrgios is rationalizing the stupidity of his actions.

This is something Tennis Australia needs to also do something about. I would perhaps be inclined to deny him entry to next year’s AO.

And yes, I know, he’s young. But he’s also more worldly than most of us. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. Bad behavior has been part of the sport here and there. But it’s somewhat tolerable if the person doing it is leaving it all out on the court. Want to behave badly and work half-heartedly? Then professional tennis is the wrong pursuit.

roy Says:


try that again with more self-righteous, delusional egalitarianism.

then maybe you’ll get a pat on the head.

Hippy Chick Says:

Its a shame really if he knuckles down,he has all the makings of been a fantastic player,i do agree with some of the things he says,and the press do ask some stupid questions at times,and im not saying he should bow to everyone and be all PC,and its great to have players with spirit and personalities,but sometimes he should just rise above it,never thought id say this but he makes Gulbis sound sedate by comparison….

Okiegal Says:

I remember being embarrassed for the way Mac and Connors would act on court. I wished they’d been from another country at the time. I didn’t support either one of them….of course had nothing to do with racism……we have the same skin color and all born in the USA!

sienna Says:

you dont see racism when link is made with Kyrgios pre Aussie family?

if you dont then nothing can safe you.

Hippy Chick Says:

^I do actually,i never condone racism in any way,shape or form,Tennisfan was spot on in his/her post nothing more to say really….^

Jock-KatH Says:

Okiegal – I loved Mac. – he could be a pain in his day – but I loved it —(he’s spoilt it now by being a pain-in-the-derrier as a commentator).
Similarly I enjoy Krygios – maybe a bit of a spoilt pup right now – but Oh his potential??!!

Okiegal Says:

@KatH…..Will definitely agree on Nick’s potential.
He has so much natural talent, has a lot of growing up to do…..he will learn, in time! He is fun to watch…..does some amazing stuff. We will see how his career pans out for him….should be interesting!!

chris ford1 Says:

Total equivocal racial equality is a progressive dream that they are so committed to that they think lies and threats and actual sanctions for disagreeing with them is needed to finally achieve the Noble Goal.
But instead of making us color or gender blind, it divides people into tribal groups.

Does a black noting a lack of other races in the National Basketball Association make that black a black supremacist? Or an Asian noting Asians hit well above their population size not in crime rate but academic achievement – is an Asian supremacist racist like the 19th century Chinese vs. the non-Han barbarians or Japan believing in the Yamoto Race?

It is also a natural instinct for, say for example, citizens seeing immigrants not “behaving in the French Way” and bashing French society or culture — to say if you don’t like it, go back to Haiti or Algeria….
That is not racist or Islamophobic, it is a natural, “you don’t like it, leave” reaction.

chris ford1 Says:

Hippie Chick – “I do actually,i never condone racism in any way,shape or form.”
I personally condone racism, sexism that the sexes are not equal in every way. As long as it is truthful. Truth is better than PC lies pretending otherwise. Asians do have a harder time holding their liquor than other races because on average because they produce less of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol. The maternal instinct exists and is not a nurture vs nature thing, and instances of bad mothering does not negate the whole observation.
And some sex choice preferences are things not to applaud and hope your young adult kids try out. Polyandry, beastiality, pederasty, cradle robbing rich old lechers, surgical transgendering..
I proudly hold “religiously bigoted views”. I consider violent extreme Salafists a problem far bigger than “the violent Christians and Buddhists that must exist somewhere.” I am completely un-PC in believing that Polynesian human sacrifice and cannibalism religions had to be wiped out in the 18th and 19th centuries had to be wiped out, even if that OFFENDED the islanders and New Guinea tribesmen and showed INTOLERANCE..

Wog Boy Says:

Sorry but in this particular case you are wrong, Dawn Fraser’s remark was racist, very much so, since she said that Nick’s behavior (tanking) is result of his immigrant background, that Australians (read Anglosaxon ones) don’t behave that way and that people who behave that way should go back to countries where their parents came from. Cannot be more racist than that. Dawn Fraser is sport legend, gold medalist from three consecutive Olympic games, she shoud know better than that, you would expect that kind of reaction from some bogan in the middle of the nowhere, but not from her.
I came in this country 30 years ago, I sm not Australian and will never be, but I have nothing but praise for Australians, I was accepted by them with no problem, I was the only Wog in the company I started and learned my trade, everybody was fair to me, never changed my name to English one (even it is hard to pronounce), but there is always idiots that will try make you feel less worth as new resident of thia great country, and Dawn Fraser made idiot of herself, but luckily they are extreme minority. I, myself, as an immigrant am against Immigrants who are making society within society and disrespect the country that they live in and raise their families, that is where the problem is but Wogs (Italians, Greeks and Eastern Europeans) and majority of other immigrants are not one of thrm, though there is certain group of immigrants who are tarnish the image of rest of us.
This is what Dawn Fraser said and tell me again it wasn’t racist, my kids didn’t like it and they are birn here, everything was fine until 1:20 and the irony was that reporter, Karl Stefanovic, who was interviewing her is of immigrant backround himself, have look:

chris ford1 Says:

Well, Wog, it is the same remark that was simultaneously directed at Kyrgios AND Tomic. Maybe some ethnic bias behind it, but not racist. You have immigrants or sons of immigrants denouncing Australia and Australian tennis. The 2 don’t like it that much, along with the Muslim youth fleeing to the West then denouncing the West, leave.

Wog Boy Says:


I don’t have a problem with what you are saying, Tomic family brought them on themselves by blackmailing Tennis Australia for years that they are going to switch their allegiance to Germany or Croatia, even the latest outburst was caused when they asked for more money for young Sara (sister) and this time around TA said NO, the older Tomic trying to use his son to get more money for daughter was just OTT, but Kyrgios family neve ever disrespected Australia in any way or shape and Nick is of the mixed race as you can see, so yes you can take it as a racist comment since discussion was about Nick’s behavior in London, which was unacceptable but has nothing to do with ethnic/racial background.

Jeez Says:

And Boris feels today’s TOP players don’t show any EMOTION .. And what does Kygrios get ???

Fined £1290($2000) for Gasquet match,$7500 for Raonic match !!!

So his £127000 for reaching 4th round slashed to £120,900..


Jeez Says:

Even Gasquet, has now been fined £1,900 ($3,000) for

‘abuse of racquets’.

Hippy Chick Says:

Chris Ford1 when i said i do actually,i was replying to Sienna @2.12pm July 7th,meaning you dont see racism when the link is made with Kyrigios pre Aussie family?if you dont then nothing can save you,well most people here know me well enough by now to know what i meant,Dawn Frazer might be a racist by the sound of it,i definetly am not….

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy it was racist,and the worst kind of racist is one that doesnt even realize they are,and try to back track and apologize after saying what she said was all rather hollow,Kyrigios brother is right the apology meant nothing….

MMT Says:

The points in question were definitely tanks – I don’t care what he says – but to be honest, I don’t understand what the point of that rule is? Unless he’s manufacturing a result (which he was not doing) I don’t see what the problem is – he’s the one who loses, and if the crowd don’t like it they can go watch another match.

The press get on him about it, but I’m guessing those were Australian journalists, and regardless, I don’t really see what the point was of hammering him on that question. There’s no journalistic value to it, and it seems to me they were just angry at him, although I don’t have the audio. I say, ask the question once and and move on.

I also feel that while the letter of the law is incongruent with its intent but not it’s application. Technically Kyrigos has to be out of his chair when the umpire calls time – failure to do so is a time violation, and it doesn’t matter why. In this case, the umpire is actually doing him a favor by not giving him a time violation or code of conduct violation, and merely asking him to hurry up.

I think the latitude is warranted since he is not a slow player when he serves, nor when he returns, and as such, the overall viewing experience isn’t hindered (which is the intent of all the time violation rules) by him taking an extra 30 seconds to take his socks off.

So really, the bottom line is that Kyrigos should just shut up and hurry up because the umpire is doing him a favor, and upholding the spirit of the rule, if not the letter.

MMT Says:

Okay, I just saw the press conference, and the reporter were indeed English, but I feel they were just stirring the pot, and backed him into a corner. He didn’t actually answer the question, and they could have let it go at that, but they insisted on an answer and that’s when it got contentious.

All a bit of handbags if you ask me – I still think that rule is one of the dumbest in tennis – how are you going to police that, and why would you bother?

sienna Says:

For the record I wasn’t talking about HC but the comment below where it was actually brushed aside.
meanwhile CF and wogboy show racist color…
this wimbly is actually good for getting to know the true color of some posters….

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