Pat Cash has blown up at Nick Kyrgios, accusing the Aussie of “cheating” and dragging tennis through the mud at Wimbledon.
Australian tennis legend Pat Cash has slammed Nick Kyrgios, accusing him of “gamesmanship” and “cheating” as he said the Canberran has dragged tennis down to its “lowest level” with his antics at Wimbledon.
Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, was speaking in the context of Kyrgios’ spiteful grudge match against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday (AEST). The 27-year-old won in four sets but afterwards Tsitsipas called him a “bully” with an “evil side”, urging fellow players to band together and force Kyrgios to change his behaviour.
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Kyrgios, who demanded Tsitsipas be defaulted for hitting a ball into the crowd during the match, denied any wrongdoing and said his Greek rival was “soft” if he couldn’t handle what was happening on the court.
Kyrgios has always divided the tennis world and it’s no different at the All England Club this year — but it’s clear what side of the fence Cash stands on.
“It was absolute mayhem,” Cash, who is commentating at the grand slam, told BBC radio. “He’s brought tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behaviour to umpires, to linesmen.
“He was lucky to even get through the first set, he should have been defaulted in the first set. Something’s got to be done about it, it’s just an absolute circus.
“Is it entertaining? Yeah, possibly. It’s gone to the absolute limit now.”
Pressed further on what he meant by “cheating”, Cash added: “The gamesmanship. The abuse he was giving.
“Tsitsipas would make a line call and he’d go up there and start complaining, he’d be in his face — that’s part of gamesmanship, that’s the sort of stuff he does and I think there’s a limit.
“I have no problems with a bit of gamesmanship but when it gets to that level, I think it’s just out of control.
“As it was, the umpire lost control. The ball kids were running across the court as Kyrgios was serving, he didn’t slow down for any of that stuff.
“Tsitsipas got sucked right into it, so it was entertaining and fascinating, but for me it’s gone too far now.”
Seven-time major winner Mats Wilander said “I’ve never seen anything like it” and isn’t a fan of what Kyrgios is bringing to the world’s most famous grass courts.
“I’m not sure I want to see something like that again, to be honest, because I don’t think this is what we want to promote in tennis,” Wilander told Eurosport. “We want to not promote it as entertainment.
“We want to promote it as inspirational, educational, but this is what people maybe want to see. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of what’s going on.”
John McEnroe, who was no stranger to blowing up on court and taking umpires to task during his playing days, was highly critical of Kyrgios in commentary for ESPN.
“It’s embarrassing. He doesn’t need to do all this,” McEnroe said. “It’s scary how good he is — that’s what’s sad in a way.”
Originally published as Aussie tennis legend Pat Cash accuses Nick Kyrgios of ‘cheating’ at Wimbledon