Nick Kyrgios Responds After Spitting Toward Wimbledon Fan He Says Verbally Abused Him

Erin WalshJune 28, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand against Paul Jubb of Great Britain during their Men's Singles First Round Match on day two of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios opened Wimbledon with a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5 win over Paul Jubb on Tuesday, but not without a little controversy.

After defeating Jubb and punching his ticket to the second round, Kyrgios spit in the direction of a fan that he said had been verbally abusing him throughout Tuesday's match.

"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," Kyrgios said, according to ESPN's Simon Cambers.

"He literally came to the match to literally just, like, not even support anyone really. It was more just to stir up and disrespect. That's fine. But if I give it back to you, then that's just how it is."

Kyrgios added:

"I love this tournament; it's got nothing to do with Wimbledon. I just think it's a whole generation of people on social media feeling like they have a right to comment on every single thing with negativity. It just carries on to real life.

"Because there's a fence there -- and I physically can't do anything or say anything because I'll get in trouble -- they just feel the need that they're just able to say anything they want."

Kyrgios also called one lineswoman a "snitch" during his match against Jubb and was warned after hitting a ball out of the stadium at one point during the match.

The 27-year-old typically gets along with the crowd at Wimbledon, though a number of people in the stands were likely rooting against him on Tuesday as Jubb hails from England, where the major tournament is played.

That said, Kyrgios is one of the more spirited players in tennis and isn't afraid to make his presence known. Just two weeks ago during a match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Halle Open in Germany, he got into a verbal altercation with the umpire.

Kyrgios, ranked 40th in the world, entered Wimbledon coming off impressive performances at the Halle Open and Stuttgart Open earlier this month. He reached the semifinals of both tournaments.

Kyrgios is set to face Filip Krajinovic in the second round and will be hoping to reach the third round for the second year in a row. His best finish at the British major came in 2014 when he reached the quarterfinals.