Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios is facing a fine after admitting that he spat towards a spectator during his first round match against local bet Paul Jubb at Wimbledon. Tournament officials are currently investigating the incident, along with verbal abuse that Kyrgios allegedly directed towards the umpire and other match officials.
The Australian won the match 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5, and did not hesitate to speak about his controversial on-court behaviour during his post-match press conference. Kyrgios claims that members of the audience “disrespected” him constantly, while the umpire failed to act upon it despite his pleas.
“I just think spectators think there’s just no line there any more. They can just say something and they film it and then they laugh about it. Someone just yelled out I was shit in the crowd today. Is that normal? No. But it’s happening over and over again. I think it’s a level of respect. Why do they feel that’s acceptable?,” he said, as quoted by The Guardian.
Furthermore, Kyrgios claimed that he and his family receive hate and abuse on social media on a daily basis. However, he himself was accused of being a hypocrite after loudly calling a line judge a “snitch” and further insulting others by saying “These people are in their 90s, they can’t see the ball.”
He is facing fines of up to $20,000 (£16,400) for each proven offence, but Kyrgios is adamant that his actions are justified. “They don’t have any right to do that,” he told the umpire while complaining about spectators and asking for them to be ejected from the venue. “They should be removed. I don’t go up to their face in their 9-5 and start clapping when they’re scanning sh*t at a supermarket. They have no right to do that so why does it keep happening?”
The incident is being reviewed and it remains to be seen what kind of sanctions the Australian will be facing.