Wimbledon 2022: Nick Kyrgios topples Stefanos Tsitsipas in Centre Court thriller filled with drama
In what was one of the best quality matches of the Championships so far, Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas served up a drama and controversy-filled clash on Centre Court. 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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At 5-5 in the first set, Kyrgios vented at umpire Damien Dumusois following a poor call in the 11th game. It was a precursor of what was to follow.
At 40-30 in the game, Kyrgios played a forehand onto the baseline to take control of the point, but the ball was called out only for the line judge to issue a correction. The call gave Tsitsipas a first serve, which he took advantage of to hold. Kyrgios charged to his chair and voiced his fury at Dumusois, calling for the line judge to be replaced in an x-rated rant.
Nick Kyrgios speaks to the umpire on day six of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2022 in London, England
Image credit: Getty Images
He shook it off to hold serve and take the set to a breaker, but after serving superbly for six games, he blinked. A double fault handed the initiative to Tsitsipas and the Greek showed his class to keep his cool and take the set as his opponent faltered and began to chunter at anyone who would listen.
Kyrgios continued to express frustration but he retained focus on serve until the eighth game of the second set when he dumped three drop shots into the net. It gifted a break point to Tsitsipas, but he staved it off with a stunning second-serve ace.
The following game, Kyrgios received a code violation after seemingly saying something to a line judge.
Whether the confrontation is what he wanted was not clear, but he produced some sublime tennis to break his Greek opponent to level the match.
Stefanos Tsitsipas speaks to the umpire on day six of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2022 in London, England
Image credit: Getty Images
For a few minutes, Kyrgios refused to play on - demanding to speak to supervisors and tournament referees. He threatened to walk off court before resuming battle at the start of the third.
He continued to debate Dumusois, as if he was thriving off the confrontation. It was not a distraction in terms of his level, as he continued to serve brilliantly and fashioned chances on the Tsitsipas serve.
In the fourth game, he converted. A stunning return had Tsitsipas scrambling and an outside-in forehand secured the break.
Kyrgios consolidated the break in the fifth game, and an underarm serve drew the response the Australian was looking for from his opponent. Tsitsipas took a wild swing and was lucky the ball smashed into the scoreboard rather than a spectator.
As Kyrgios returned to his chair with a broad grin on his face, Tsitsipas was slapped with a point penalty - which prompted him to vent his frustration at an overworked Dumusois.
In the following game, a steaming Tsitsipas took a wild hack at a simple volley, and only he will know whether his target was the body of Kyrgios. It missed by inches, which likely came as a relief to Dumusois.
Serving for the third set, Kyrgios had two huge slices of luck from net chords but on set point he produced one of the shots of the championship, a stunning volley off his toes for a winner. His ‘money’ hand gesture spoke more than any words could.
Kyrgios had three break points in the first game of the fourth, but passed them all up and fell awkwardly towards the end of the game. He looked uncomfortable for a few minutes, and his focus dipped at a time when Tsitsipas cooled his temperature.
With both settling into a pattern of play similar to the first set, the fourth went to a breaker.
Kyrgios was not at the races in the first, but he was far more focused at the second time of asking.
A big hold after being under pressure on the third point led to a roar of delight from Kyrgios as he absorbed big shots from Tsitsipas.
On the ninth point, a brilliant return drew an error from Tsitsipas - and a further roar from Kyrgios.
Credit to Tsitsipas, he found a stunning return of his own and a drive volley got the breaker back on serve.
On the 15th point, Kyrgios reeled off a string of brilliant groundstrokes to set up match point and on the Tsitsipas serve, the Australian sealed the win with an audacious drop shot.
For a match of such controversy and brilliance, it was a fitting end to a night of drama.
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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.