Stefanos Tsitsipas issues statement on comments made about Nick Kyrgios on Netflix

Nick Kyrgios Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas has issued a statement after his comments on Nick Kyrgios in Break Point made all the headlines, claiming his remarks were "misinterpreted." In the 2022 Wimbledon third round, Tsitsipas fell short to Kyrgios in four sets in what was an extremely tense match.

This week, the second season of Netflix's tennis documentary was released. Reflecting in Break Point on what happened during the match, Tsitsipas said: "He has brought that NBA basketball attitude to tennis. I would describe it as an uneducated approach of playing tennis.

But you know tennis is a gentleman’s sport, it’s all about respect. We are not playing basketball. I feel he was trying to destroy my rhythm. He kept putting his towel in my box. There was zero respect coming out of my opponent that day.

He kept pressing my buttons none stop - and of course I got annoyed." After seeing the headlines and the reaction to his comments, Tsitsipas insists he didn't mean to undermine Kyrgios or NBA players.

Tsitsipas issues a statement on his comments about Kyrgios in Break Point
"I hope this message finds you well.

"I hope this message finds you well. Today, I want to address a matter that has been weighing heavily on my heart; an unfortunate misunderstanding that has a distorted picture of my intentions."

"It has come to my attention that some individuals have misinterpreted my comments regarding Nick Kyrgios, labeling him as uneducated and accusing him of bringing a basketball mentality into tennis, insinuating racism where none exists."

"Let me take this opportunity to provide clarity and rectify any misconceptions that may have arisen. Firstly, I want to emphasize that I harbor no prejudice towards anyone based on their background, ethnicity, or interests. I deeply regret if my words were misinterpreted or caused offense, as that was never my intention." 

"It is true that I love the game of basketball and have been a devoted fan for years. The excitement, skill, and competitiveness of the sport have always resonated with me. However, my admiration for basketball should not be misconstrued as a dismissal or belittlement of other sports, including tennis. Each sport carries its own unique beauty, and I hold immense respect for the dedication and talent displayed by athletes across various disciplines, including tennis."

"My previous remarks regarding Nick Kyrgios were not meant to undermine his intelligence or abilities. Instead, I simply intended to express my perspective on certain aspects of his playing style, drawing comparisons to the passion and intensity often associated with basketball. It was an attempt to highlight the dynamic and captivating nature of his approach to the game, not a criticism of his character or capabilities."

"I want to open up to you about a part of my life that has left an indelible mark on my journey. A time that brought me face to face with fear, adversity, and personal growth. In 2010, as a white Caucasian kid growing up in Greece, I found myself entangled in the clutches of the Greek economic crisis, a period that forever changed my perspective on the world and the resilience within myself."

"The economic turmoil that gripped my beloved country was accompanied by an insidious phenomenon, the one of nation-labelling. People began to judge and categorize individuals based solely on their Greek nationality, ascribing blame and making sweeping generalizations about an entire population. In the eyes of the world, we were reduced to mere stereotypes, shouldering the burden of a nation's struggles, regardless of our individual circumstances or contributions."

"What truly scarred me, though, was the racism that emerged from this nation-labelling. As a young person trying to make sense of the world and my place in it, I experienced firsthand the sting of prejudice and discrimination. Suddenly, I became the target of hurtful words, exclusion, and judgment simply because of my Greek heritage. The relationships I had cherished changed overnight, leaving me feeling isolated and disheartened."

"As I confronted the harsh realities of racism, I vowed to rise above it, to prove that my worth and identity were not defined by the economic circumstances of my country. I made a conscious choice to erase the lingering bitterness from those years and embrace the lessons they had taught me. They taught me empathy, and how important it is to see beyond labels and understand the complex realities that shape individuals."

"I deeply regret any hurt or offense my words may have caused. It is essential to remember that we all have different viewpoints and interpretations, and it is through open dialogue and understanding that we can bridge gaps and foster genuine connections."

"Moving forward, I commit to being more mindful of my words and the impact they may have. I firmly believe in promoting inclusivity and celebrating diversity. It is my hope that we can engage in respectful conversations that allow for differing opinions while maintaining empathy and respect for one another."

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Stefanos Tsitsipas issues statement on comments made about Nick Kyrgios on Netflix 1

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify my stance and intentions. Your understanding and support mean a great deal to me. Let us continue to cherish our shared love for sports, celebrating the beauty and passion they bring to our lives."

Stefanos Tsitsipas

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