'Give a man a mask...': Tsitsipas quotes Kyrgios' tattoo in jibe after Wimbledon clash
Nick Kyrgios advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2016 on Saturday with a feisty 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) victory against fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
It was an ill-tempered affair that saw Australia's Nick Kyrgios stun fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and cause perhaps the first major upset of Wimbledon 2022. After more than three incident-packed hours, the Aussie emerged on top with a 6-7(2) 6-4 6-3 7-6(7) victory and the fued continued a day after the match.
Taking to Instagram, the Greek posted a set of photographs from Saturday's epic encounter. However, what drew attention was Tsitsipas' caption that went along with the post. "Give a man a mask and he will become his true self," wrote the 23-year-old. Interestingly, the same words are tattooed on Kyrgios' leg, leaving fans pointing out at Tsitsipas' cheeky jibe at the Australian after his Wimbledon 2022 shock exit.
Throughout their third round clash, Kyrgios engaged in an ongoing conversation with the umpire at various points, received a warning for cursing, and enraged Tsitsipas to the point that he attempted to smash Kyrgios after nearly losing the point for whacking a ball towards the spectators out of irritation.
At one point, the crowd started to jeer the 23-year-old Tsitsipas for losing his cool in what he called a Kyrgios circus. Tsitsipas expressed his disappointment after his defeat on Court One in no uncertain terms. "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," the Greek added.
Tsitsipas apologised for losing his composure but expressed frustration that the Australian's brilliance was not more severely penalised by the officials given his theatrics. "I wish we could all come together and put a rule in place. I don't know. Something about talking. Why would you be talking while you're playing? It makes no sense," he said.
"Every single point that I played today I feel like there was something going on on the other side of the net. That's his way of manipulating the opponent and making you feel distracted, in a way. There is no other player that does this. I really hope all us players can come up with something and make this a cleaner version of our sport, have this kind of behaviour not accepted, not allowed, not tolerated," the Greek added.
The Greek acknowledged that in the third set, he had attempted to crush Kyrgios."I was aiming for the body of my opponent but I missed by a lot. I'm not used to play this way. But I cannot just sit there, act like a robot and act like someone that is completely cold and ignorant. Because you're out there doing your job, and you have noise coming from the other side of the court for no absolute reason," Tsitsipas concluded.