Nick Kyrgios confirmed that he spat towards a fan after he said he was "dealing with hate and negativity" in his opening match at Wimbledon, and Eurosport's Barbara Schett has given her reaction to the incident.
Kyrgios explained in his post-match press conference that he was fed up of being disrespected by fans during his five-set first-round win over Britain's world No. 219, Paul Jubb, on Tuesday.
The Australian made no apology when asked to confirm if he deliberately spat in the direction of the individual after the match and said it came as a result of "receiving a lot".
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Kyrgios was clearly seen to turn and spit after he clinched the 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 victory on Court 3 at the All England Club.
"Of one of the people disrespecting me, yes," Kyrgios said when asked about the incident. "I would not be doing that to someone who was supporting me.
"Look, I'm okay with receiving a lot of it. But what I don't understand is as soon as I give it back, for instance in Stuttgart I gave it back, I got a game penalty. Today, as soon as I won the match, I turned to him... I've been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don't feel like I owed that person anything.
"Like, he literally came to the match to literally just, like, not even support anyone really. It was more just to, like, stir up and disrespect. That's fine. But if I give it back to you, then that's just how it is."
Schett said: "Well, it seems like whenever Nick Kyrgios is on the court something happens, especially lately when the tension is piling up. It seemed like a fan harassed him, or he was not happy with somebody.
"The way he spat in the direction of the fan is not right and I’m not sure why he has done that. For him, it’s always important to relieve some tension somehow, but that’s certainly not the place to do anything like that. It’s never a place to do anything like that.
"Every time, I feel with Nick Kyrgios we don’t only talk about his tennis, but we talk about how he behaves on the court. When will he learn? That’s the question."

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An All England Club spokesperson reportedly said of the incident: “The match Chair Umpire would notify the Referee’s Office of any concerns, the Referee’s Office in consultation with the Grand Slam supervisor will decide on any fines which will then be issued.
"The Referee’s Office would also review transcripts from press conferences and again, in consultation with the Grand Slam supervisor, will decide on any fines which will then be issued.”
Midway through the fiery match, Kyrgios expressed his displeasure with the conduct of some members of the crowd as he implored the umpire to help deal with the situation.
“You have to tell them, though," he said at a changeover. "They have to be respectful. They are spectators who pay money to watch us play. They should be removed.
"Like, I don’t go up to them in their nine-to-five or get up in their face when they’re scanning s*** in the supermarket, do I?
"'Oh, booo! Yeah, now everything thinks you’re s***!' Do I say that? They have no right to do that. Why does it keep happening?

Nick Kyrgios rants at the umpire at Wimbledon 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

"[You] should remove them from the crowd. So spectators who disrespect an athlete is acceptable, but you don't accept a hat with two logos. But pure disrespect [towards] athletes is fine. Where is the line? If that’s acceptable, then racism is acceptable… where does it stop? Where is the line, you know what I mean?
"What is it? I don’t know. It’s been happening for years now. Years. I would say the same thing - if they were clapping between his first and second serves or saying racial slurs, then I would say the same thing.”
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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