Nick Kyrgios progressed into the second round at Wimbledon, despite making hard work of beating British world No.219 Paul Jubb.
The 27-year-old Australian was forced into a five-set match by Jubb in the first round clash on court three and it looked worrying for the world No.40 after his first set meltdown.
The British number eight threatened to produce a surprise result when he reeled off the opening set in 23 minutes, while his eccentric opponent hinted at implosion when he blasted a tennis ball out of Court Three.
Nick Kyrgios progressed into the second round at Wimbledon with a victory over Paul Jubb
The 27-year-old Australian was forced into a five-set match by the British world No. 219
Kyrgios had reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle in the build-up to SW19 and regained his composure to enough of an extent to fight back and move within a whisker of round two.
But Jubb kept his cool to take a fourth set tie-breaker and force a decider where despite the best efforts of the world number 219, it was the Australian who prevailed in no large part thanks to 30 aces.
It took a mixture of big-serving and an array of glorious winners to send Kyrgios through after three hours and five minutes, with a sprinkle of trademark chatter with line judges and spectators thrown in for good measure.
The British number eight threatened to produce a surprise result with an opening set victory
Jubb also kept his cool to take a fourth set tie-breaker and force a decider where he fell short
After his victory, Kyrgios said in his on-court interview: ‘Incredibly tough. Obviously he’s a local wild card, he had nothing to lose, played the moment and played some exceptional tennis.
‘(The) crowd was pretty rowdy today, a couple of people in the crowd were not shy of criticising me. That one was for you. You know who you are.
‘Obviously Wimbledon the last couple of years has been a strange one, a different feel, but it’s special coming out here playing in front of full courts. Happy to be through and now just rest up.’
The five-set thriller was perhaps overshadowed by Kyrgios’ heated exchange with the chair umpire early in the first set about the noise of the crowd before erupting after Jubb broke him to serve out the set at 6-3.
The match was perhaps overshadowed by Kyrgios’ heated exchange with the chair umpire
Speaking to umpire Marija Cicak, Kyrgios said: ‘You can’t f***ing decide to talk to me in the middle of the point when I’m about to do a backhand, it can’t be happening bro.
‘They can watch the tennis but speaking and shouting out in the middle of the point, like why? I don’t know where it was.’
The incident clearly threw Kyrgios off his game as he struggled for form following it.
The 27-year-old was under pressure as Jubb had another break opportunity at 3-4 and failed to keep his composure.
The Australian fired his forehand into the net to hand Jubb the break. Kyrgios subsequently lost his temper and fired a ball out of the stadium ground.
The Australian smashed a ball out of court 3 at Wimbledon after dropping his serve
During the second set Kyrgios told the chair umpire that he heard ‘racial slurs’ and criticised the crowd for booing him: ‘You should just remove them from the crowd.
‘So pure disrespect from a spectator to an athlete is acceptable at Wimbledon? But you don’t accept a hat with two logos? When’s the line? That’s acceptable, racism is acceptable so when does it stop? So where’s the line?
‘It’s been happening for years. If they were making racial slurs to him I would say the same thing.’
Kyrgios went on to lose his temper once again – calling a line judge a ‘snitch’ and insisting the female official in question ‘had no fans’.
The 27-year-old was then heard hitting out at a female line judge because of her decision
Kyrgios asked whether anyone had attended Wimbledon on Tuesday to ‘see her speak’
Venting his frustration on court 3, Kyrgios asked the chair umpire: ‘Has one person today come to see her [the line judge] speak?’.
‘No. I understand, but why is she doing that? Not one person in the stadium has come here to watch her do anything! Not one person.
‘Like, you know what I mean? You got fans, but she has got none.
‘What did I do? Like, come on. I know, but what? She just selfishly walks to you in the middle of a game because she’s a snitch!’.
The fans were clearly growing frustrated with Kyrgios’ actions and began to boo the Australian tennis player – causing him to kick off once again.
He ranted: ‘They [the fans] have no right to do that, why is it still happening? You should remove them from the crowd. Booing is acceptable at Wimbledon?’
He added: ‘You have to tell them [to stop]. They’re spectators. They don’t have any right to do that. They’re spectators who spend money to come watch us play. They should be removed.
‘I don’t go up to their face in their 9-5 and start clapping when they’re scanning s*** at a supermarket. They have no right to do that so why does it keep happening?’