Wimbledon 2022: Sweetness and light - from Nick Kyrgios of all people

After the hurricane … the warm and gentle breeze. Nick Kyrgios, ranked 40 in the world but definitely Public Enemy No 1 around these parts, dispensed sweetness and light both on and off court as he progressed to the third round.

Tennis’ wild and crazy guy, accused of spitting at a fan in his previous match, had an incident-free win over Filip Krajinovic, after which he declared himself “one of the most important people in the sport”.

The Australian can be one of the great entertainers, as he’s demonstrated often with his trick-shot slapstick and devil-may-care demeanour, but sometimes his mood turns black and Tuesday’s victory over Britain’s Paul Jubb also involved abuse of officials, after which he mouthed off to the media.

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Yesterday he began: “Super pleased with my performance, I mean, I played really well in every aspect of my game, so I’m really interested to see what you have for me today.”

Nick Kyrgios concentrated on the tennis to progress to the third round.Nick Kyrgios concentrated on the tennis to progress to the third round.
Nick Kyrgios concentrated on the tennis to progress to the third round.

Journalists did attempt to ask about the spitting, which is now the subject of an investigation, but he thwacked their questions away like he was hitting one of his tweeners.

“I couldn’t care less if there is an investigation about me doing that, to be brutally honest with you. I know what I bring to the sport … one of the most important people.”

Kyrgios, who beat Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, was asked if fans were breaking Wimbledon etiquette and behaving more like a football crowd. “I don’t mind when they get up and about,” he said. “Obviously if there’s a wildcard and they’re locals, the fans will want to see their countryman do well. I’m all for that … be as loud as they want. Rowdiness and loudness are what’s beautiful about this sport. It’s like one-to-one without the contact. But there’s a line of disrespect where it’s not acceptable.”

And he signed off by challenging the press-pack to write something nice about him: “It’s hilarious, there’s nothing you could tell me I did wrong today. I’m proud of my performance. Watch it back and enjoy. I hope you loved my tennis. Write about that.”



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