- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was told off by a tennis umpire for threatening to fight a fan who heckled him during his Australian Open match on Friday.
- Tsonga was seen storming up and down the court, pointing his finger, and reportedly said he’d “kick” the fan’s “a**.”
- Tsonga went on to lose to Nick Kyrgios by three sets to one.
French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost his cool in the Australian heat on Friday.
The 32-year-old threatened to fight a fan, got told off by the umpire, then lost to Nick Krygios in a wild third round Australian Open match in the 15,000 capacity Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park.
Tsonga can be seen marching up and down the court, pointing his finger, and shouting at a crowd member when he was losing two sets to one.
Match commentator and former seven-time tennis major winner John McEnroe said that Tsonga was being heckled.
New York Times journalist Ben Rothenberg suggests Tsonga, who was shouting in French, said: “Bring him down here and I’ll kick his a**.”
The umpire, Jake Garner, even intervened halfway through Tsonga’s tirade to say “nothing good can from this” and “you have to stop.”
You can watch the bizarre moment unfold in the video below:
Jo-Wilfried shouting something along the lines of "Bring him down here and I'll kick his ass" (literally "settle his account.")
Jo later added "He said something to me and I do what I want."
Unclear whom in the stands this is directed at.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018
Explaining the incident, Tsonga reportedly said: “In the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now, you are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. That’s it. I lost it and I [went] a little bit crazy.”
The match itself proved to be full of drama as Krygios was given a code violation for appearing late on court before a single ball had been hit. However, while Tsonga seemingly lost his head, Kyrgios was able to keep his nerve.
Both Tsonga and Krygios served aces, played highlight-reel backhands, and competed for tie-break points but, in the end, it was Kyrgios who rallied to a three-sets-to-one victory.
“It was amazing,” Kyrgios said after the match, according to The Guardian. “I’d never won a match on this court coming here. Playing Jo, obviously I was very nervous. He was a guy I looked up to as a kid, I still do, he’s a champion, I’m just happy to get through.”
Having eliminated Tsonga, Kyrgios now progresses to the fourth round where he takes on number three world ranked Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.
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