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Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios had several outbursts during his first-round match against British wild card Paul Jubb at the All England Club on Tuesday, including lashing out at a line judge and spitting in the direction of a heckler.
Kyrgios, 27, advanced past Jubb despite dropping the first set, but the pressure seemed to get to him early in the match when, just 12 minutes in, Kyrgios went on a rant after a female line judge approached the chair umpire to report something that he had said during the match.
“Has one person today come here to see her speak? No,” Kyrgios said to the chair umpire. “Why is she doing that? No one person in the stadium has watched her come to do anything. Not one person.”
He called the line judge a “snitch” and after the match disputed what was said.
“I didn’t do anything and she went to the umpire and told her something that I didn’t say,” Kyrgios said, via ESPN. “She found it relevant to go to run to the umpire at 30-love and make it about her. No one was there to see her today, factually.”
He also addressed spitting in the direction of a fan that had been heckling him throughout the match.
“Of one of the people disrespecting me, yes. I would not be doing that to someone who was supporting me,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owed that person anything.”
He continued: “He literally came to the match to not even support anyone really, just to stir up disrespect. That’s fine, but if I give it back to you, that’s just how it is.”
Wimbledon is one of Kyrgios’ favorite tournaments. He told reporters after the match that the issue he has is with fan behavior and not the tournament itself.
“I love this tournament. It’s got nothing to do with Wimbledon. I just think it’s a whole generation of people like on social media feeling like they have a right to comment on every single thing with negativity. It just carries on to real life,” he explained.
“Because there’s a fence there, and I physically can’t do anything or say anything because I’ll get in trouble. They just feel the need that they’re just able to say anything they want.”
Kyrgios will next play world No. 26 Filip Krajlnovic on Thursday.