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While You Were Asleep: Kyrgios stuns Tsitsipas in a fiery clash, Nadal eases past Sonego, Casey joins Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Stefanos Tsitsipas labelled Nick Kyrgios a "bully" with "an evil side" to his character after losing a bad-tempered Wimbledon third-round clash on Saturday.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: July 3, 2022 8:24:56 am
Australia's Nick Kyrgios with Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas after winning their third round match; Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego. (Reuters Photo)

Nick Kyrgios knocked out fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a wild and ill-tempered affair in the Wimbledon third-round slugfest. Kyrgios won the match by 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

Kyrgios was in his element throughout the match. He kept up a running dialogue with the umpire at times during the match, was warned for swearing and upset his opponent to such an extent that Tsitsipas tried to hit him with a smash after coming close to being defaulted for whacking a ball in frustration into the crowd.

At one point Kyrgios even demanded his opponent be defaulted for smashing a ball into the crowd in a bad-tempered affair.

Kyrgios, who was fined $10,000 after his first-round match for spitting towards a fan, was warned for swearing on and then called for Tsitsipas to be defaulted after the Greek hit a ball close to a spectator’s head after losing the second set.

Afterwards, Tsitsipas called Kyrgios a bully and possessing an “evil side” in his post-match press conference.

“Yeah, it’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He bullies opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself. I don’t like bullies,” Tsitsipas said.

“I don’t like people that put other people down. He has some good traits in his character, as well. But he also has a very evil side to him, which if it’s exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him.”

Kyrgios described the match as a ‘rollercoaster.’

“I’m not sure how I bullied him. He was the one hitting balls at me, he was the one that hit a spectator, he was the one that smacked it out of the stadium,” said Kyrgios.

“I just don’t understand what I did. Like I did nothing towards him. I didn’t think I was aggressive towards him.

“I wasn’t hitting balls at his face. I don’t know. I didn’t feel like there was any anger.

“I had no anger towards Stef today on the match. I don’t know where it’s coming from, to be honest.

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“If he’s affected by that today, then that’s what’s holding him back. I just think it’s soft.”

Nadal reaches Rd 4

Rafael Nadal was at his absolute best as he thrashed Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in straight sets to enter Wimbledon’s fourth round.

Ndala, who had dropped a set in each of his previous two matches at the grasscourt major but on Saturday, he looked like a man on a mission who is in pursuit of a rare calendar Grand Slam.

There were few tense moment in the game. In the third set, when Nadal was leading 4-2, Sonego convinced officials to close the roof so that the floodlights could be turned on, and the Spaniard did not appear happy with the decision.

However, after the match, Nadal was quick to downplay any bad blood between the duo.

“Not spicy at all… from the bottom of my heart… I feel really bad now if I bothered him so I feel sorry for that. That’s it — I will talk to him after but this is not a problem,” said Nadal, who next faces Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

Casey latest to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf

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Paul Casey has become the latest player to sign up with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Golf Series. The world No 26 is set to compete at the third LIV Golf event, which will take place at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster later this month.

Paul Casey signed up with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Golf Series. (Instagram/Paul Casey)

The 44-year-old Englishman is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour and 15-time winner on the European Tour but has not played since March due to injury.

Casey joins a list of top players including six-times major champion Phil Mickelson, former world number ones Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka and former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau who have joined the upstart league.

“LIV Golf continues to attract the best players in the sport as it builds increasingly competitive fields with each event,” LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said in a statement.

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Bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), LIV Golf held its first event in London last month which was won by South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, who pocketed the $4 million prize — the biggest pay check in golf history.

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First published on: 03-07-2022 at 08:04:32 am

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