Nick Kyrgios is no stranger to a spot of controversy, and now he’s managed to get caught up in a fiery war of words with tennis champion Marion Bartoli after she branded him “pathetic”.
The 23-year-old Aussie tennis pro slammed Bartoli in a lengthy scathing message, after she took aim at both his and France’s Gael Monfils’ attitudes on and off the court.
Speaking on a BBC radio show, the Frenchwoman said Kyrgios’ work ethic was “just not good enough to win a grand slam”, and claimed it was “pathetic” that he and Monfils can’t get over their “childish” attitudes.
“It seems like they can’t grow up, they can’t become men and they can’t take charge of their own lives,” she added in the chat.
“I truly hope Nick will be able to get it together at some point. I don’t know what he needs. He’s going to waste his life if he keeps on acting like that.”
Yesterday @bartolimarion had to say some nice things about @iamgaelmonfils and myself.. They’re ‘Pathetic’ ‘Children’ They ‘Can’t become men’ ‘wasting their life’ – Who are you to judge the way we go about things? Who are you to tell us how to do things, when u have no idea what we’ve been through?…. stop assuming you know what’s best for others when you think you’ve had a little success.. we get it, we know you have to remain relevant, but I’ll give you a heads up, we don’t care what you have to say.
Now, never one to take a verbal attack lying down, Kyrgios has taken to social media to share a scathing response, claiming Bartoli is just attempting to remain “relevant”.
“Who are you to judge the way we go about things? Who are you to tell us how to do things, when u have no idea what we’ve been through?” He wrote on Instagram.
“Stop assuming you know what’s best for others when you think you’ve had a little success.. we get it, we know you have to remain relevant, but I’ll give you a heads up, we don’t care what you have to say.”
Monfils wasn’t happy about the comments either, and according to news.com.au, responded by saying: “It’s easy to criticise people when you don’t know them. So I won’t even pay any attention.”
It comes after Kyrgios managed to crack a smile on Thursday when he was publicly schooled by the umpire during his match against Dutchman Robin Haase.
Kyrgios was serving when he was called out by chair umpire James Keothavong for a foot fault. The frustrated player immediately began to question the call, asking: “What? After I hit it, how’s that possible?”
But the umpire was having none of it and swiftly pointed out the obvious.
“That’s what he has to do, he can’t call it before you hit it!” he told Kyrgios much to the crowd’s amusement.
Rather than biting back, as he has so often done before, the 23-year-old player instead cracked a smile, shaking his head as he conceded Keothavong was correct.
While it was a light moment of humour in the match, it wasn’t all sunshine and smiles and Kyrgios did let his temper get the best of him at one point. Despite taking the lead early on the tennis ace let fly at his team box during one game and demanded the get on their feet to support him.
“Why are you down? How hard is it to stand up for one game? This could be over in five minutes,” the hot-headed player yelled towards the courtside box where those including his father George sat watching the match.
Kyrgios has been in fine form throughout Wimbledon so far, prompting commentators to suggest he could advance into the finals rounds if he keeps it up.