Nick Kyrgios slams Wimbledon fans who heckled him and hits out at growing level of abuse towards players

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 (PA)
(PA)

Nick Kyrgios has hit out at spectators after he was heckled and called “s***” during his five-set marathon win over Britain’s Paul Jubb at Wimbledon.

The Australian complained about a group of fans’ behaviour and asked for them to be removed, and spat in their direction after the match.

He faces a potential fine for his on-court actions which ranged from the spitting to hitting a ball off court and calling a line judge “a snitch” although he received no immediate punishment from the umpire.

The 27-year-old said it was part of a wider malaise in the game and he was getting abuse on and off court after virtually ever time he plays.

“A lot of disrespect was being thrown today from the crowds,” he said. “Like someone just yelled out I was s*** in the crowd today. Is that normal? No. But I just don’t understand why it’s happening over and over again. I’m just starting to think it’s normal when it’s really not.”

Kyrgios had previously complained of being racially abused at the recent Stuttgart Open and, although he insisted the abuse received on court on Tuesday was not racist, it was still abusive.

“I just don’t understand why spectators feel like they’re able to do that,” he said. “I just think it’s a whole generation of people like on social media feel 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. I think people, spectators, everyone is so quick to just negatively put their energy on someone else.

“On social media, you can just bash someone on social media and there’s no real consequences. Now, whether it’s racial abuse or just disrespect, it’s acceptable. But why is that acceptable?”

Kyrgios said he was now getting abuse nearly everything match and that he was helpless to do anything with the risk of being penalised by the chair umpire and tournament officials.

He also said that the abuse he and his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi received off court was worsening.

“My girlfriend gets hate messages, my family deal with hate messages, I deal with hate messages,” he said. “If I lose this match, you have no idea how much abuse I have to go through.”

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