If there’s one thing you can say about Nick Kyrgios’ matches, they are rarely dull, and his five-set win over Briton Paul Jubb in the first round of Wimbledon was no exception.
Most important points:
- Nick Kyrgios needed five sets to beat Paul Jubb . defeat
- Kyrgios argued with supporters during the match
- Matteo Berrettini joins Marin Čilić forced out of tournament due to COVID-19
An ongoing disagreement with a linesman whom Kyrgios called “a tell-tale”, an underarm serve behind the legs, countless audience conversations and a ball being knocked high out of the stadium – that was just the first set.
Despite all the unnecessary but consistently entertaining sideshows, Kyrgios went on to take on his 22-year-old wildcard opponent 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-5 in three hours and five minutes.
Kyrgios hit 29 aces and 62 winners, but married it with 53 unforced errors.
“That was unbelievably tough,” Kyrgios said after the race on the track.
“He played quite exceptional tennis.”
In gusty conditions on court three, Kyrgios sometimes played on court with his usual relaxed genius, but increasingly showed his undisguised irritability which ultimately proved to be a huge distraction.
That was no more visible than in the last set.
Kyrgios went from serving for the match at 5-3 to the break point at 5-5, before recovering to break Jubb in the next game to win the match.
The crowd smacked the world’s number 40, with Kyrgios asking the umpire to intervene on the very first half change, before a more extended conversation later in the match.
“You have to tell them,” Kyrgios said after getting some comments from some of the crowd.
“They have no right to do that. They are spectators… they must be removed.
“There’s no sheer disrespect like that. I don’t go to their face and go to their nine-to-five and start clapping when they scan s*** in a supermarket, right?”
“I agree with you,” said the chair umpire.
“So why does it keep happening?” was the answer from Kyrgios.
“So, sheer disrespect from a spectator for an athlete is acceptable at Wimbledon, but you won’t accept a hat with two logos?
“So where’s the line? That’s acceptable, then racism is acceptable, so when will it stop? Where’s the line?
“It’s been happening for years.”
Kyrgios was asked if he would consider a career in commentary after he finished due to his talkative nature, to which he said with a wry smile he would consider it if he was paid enough.
Those multiple distractions at the change of half aside, Kyrgios soared through the second set in 24 minutes, before pushing through the third after a 200km/h serve.
Kyrgios roared exaggeratedly through the deciding game in that third set, but was unable to regain that form in the fourth as Jubb fought back into the fray.
As the match entered the deciding set, Kyrgios, after another talk with the chair umpire, had one request from the audience.
“Let’s agree to be quiet the entire fifth” [set],” he said.
As Jubb put all the pressure on Kyrgios, the crowd did anything but calm down, but Kyrgios was victorious.
“The crowd was pretty rowdy today,” Kyrgios said.
“A few people in the crowd weren’t shy about criticizing me. That one was for you, you know who you are,” he added as the crowd cheered him off the field.
Matteo Berrettini pulls out of Wimbledon with COVID-19
Earlier in the day, Matteo Berrettini, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, was forced to withdraw from this year’s tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test result just hours before he was due to go to court.
The Italian number 11 in the world was one of the favorites to take this title and would open his campaign on Court 1 against Chilean Cristian Garín on Tuesday morning.
Instead, he has taken to Instagram to explain his withdrawal.
“I am heartbroken to announce that I have to withdraw from Wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result,” the number eight wrote.
The 26-year-old said he was in isolation for a few days after developing flu-like symptoms.
“The dream is over for this year, but I will come back stronger.”
Berrettini has been replaced in the main draw by the lucky loser, the Swedish number 137 in the world, Elias Ymer.
Last week, Berrettini had declared himself one of the favorites to win the grass court major, winning the prestigious Queens Club title for the second year in a row.
In doing so, he became the first Open-era player to win the traditional pre-Wimbledon tournament in his first two appearances.
Last week Berrettini practiced at Center Court with Rafael Nadal and was also in the picture next to last year’s champion Novak Djokovic.
Last year, Berrettini lost in the Wimbledon final to Djokovic 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
The match took place on the same day as the Euro 2020 final, in which Italy defeated England at Wembley Stadium in London.
Just a day later, Berrettini joined the victorious Italian football team on their victory parade through the streets of his home city of Rome.
Four of his seven ATP titles have been won on grass, and the Italian has won nine games so far this year without a surface defeat.
Berrettini’s withdrawal follows that of Marin Čilić, who withdrew on Monday.
Čilić, the 14th seed, also wrote that he was “heartbroken” to miss the tournament where he reached the final in 2017.
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