Feisty Greek ace Stefanos Tsitsipas has reignited his feud with Nick Kyrgios after the Australian enigma turned his back on the inaugural edition of the United Cup, set to start in Sydney on Thursday.
Kyrgios and Tsitsipas were forced to combine for a doubles match at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia this month, but any repair their relationship may have undergone crumbled when the latter spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
“It is not a surprise,” Tsitsipas said of Kyrgios’ withdrawal.
“I hope he enjoys his holidays.”
Tsitsipas’ icy relationship with Kyrgios exploded after he was bundled out by the Canberran in the third round of this year’s Wimbledon tournament.
In a sensational press conference at the All England Club, Tsitsipas branded his rival a “bully” and said he had a “very evil side to him”.
Kyrgios had demanded the chair umpire default Tsitsipas for whacking a ball into the crowd, before threatening to refuse playing until every one of the tournament supervisors appeared on the court to discuss the matter.
Irked by Kyrgios’ antics, Tsitsipas fired three shots at his opponent’s body, resulting in two code violations and eventually a point penalty.
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“I don’t know where all of his energy comes from,” Tsitsipas added on Wednesday.
“There is so much of it. I don’t know how he does it.
“You cannot concentrate on your own game; there is so much noise coming from the other side of the net. It’s distracting. You have to be at your best to overcome it all.”
Australia’s United Cup team consists of Alex de Minaur, Jason Kubler, John Peers, Ajla Tomljanović, Zoe Hives, Maddison Inglis and Samantha Stosur.
Greece has fielded Tsitsipas, Michail Pervolarakis, Stefanos Sakellaridis, Petros Tsitsipas, Maria Sakkari, Despina Papamichail, Valentini Grammatikopoulou and Sapfo Sakellardi.
“We are all doing this together,” Tsitsipas said of the Greek team.
“Our team all have their eyes on the prize, but this (winning) can only be achieved by combining forces and committing every day.
“When it comes to tennis, team events are my favourite.
“I have a lot of faith in the players on our squad.
“We are all striving for excellence together.”
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