Nick Kyrgios slams BBC's Andrew Castle for 'disrespectful' comment at Wimbledon

Nick Kyrgios
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

Nick Kyrgios has criticised BBC commentator Andrew Castle for his remarks during the Wimbledon match between Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz, calling them "disrespectful".

The Australian tennis star, who has been providing commentary at Wimbledon while sidelined with an injury, was not impressed when Castle mentioned Kyrgios' previous claim that a spectator at his 2022 final against Novak Djokovic had been heavily intoxicated.

Kyrgios' displeasure with Castle didn't subside even when he was off-air on Monday, as he overheard Castle's exchange with John Lloyd on the BBC. During a second set tie dominated by powerful serves and groundstrokes, Lloyd commented on the style of play.

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"There's almost no changes of pace in this match it's one way, there's no slices, there's no top spin to slow the ball up," Lloyd observed. "It's brilliant at what it is it's like two heavyweights and it's about who blinks first. The first set obviously went to Zverev."

Castle then cut in: "You can't say it's been the most captivating tennis, to be frank..." Lloyd replied: "No, but what they're doing, it's amazing how they can do that on this surface at this speed," reports the Mirror.

Castle responded: "I accept that."

Lloyd then praised the players' skills, saying: "Their technique and groundstrokes are incredible."

However, these comments did not sit well with Kyrgios, who previously called Castle a "clown" in a widely viewed tweet last July.

Taking to Twitter, Kyrgios expressed his frustration: "'Not captivating' was a comment from a commentator who is doing the Zverev and Fritz match. This alone tells me that they have probably never played tennis at a high level. 2 of the most elite servers we have. Quite disrespectful. C'mon be better."

He continued by highlighting their serve quality. "Context. Tour serve quality 7.8. Zverer and Fritz both above 9. Lol."

The BBC has been approached by Mirror Sport for a statement. Castle, now 60, had his moments on the court, reaching Wimbledon's second round in 1986 and 1987 as Britain's No. 1, and making it to the Australian Open mixed doubles final in 1987. These days, he's recognised more for his broadcasting career.

The remarks from Kyrgios could cause discomfort for the BBC, especially after they've had to justify hiring him for Wimbledon coverage amidst objections from women's rights groups. Kyrgios, aged 29, admitted to assaulting his former girlfriend Chiara Passari in Canberra in 2021.

"As a current and high-profile player, Nick Kyrgios will provide insight and analysis of the action on the court from his experience in the game," the BBC said. "We are in no way condoning his cited previous actions or behaviours, on and off the court, and he is employed to share his views on tennis only. He has provided similar services to other major sports broadcasters in recent months. The legal process he was involved in has concluded, is well documented, and he has spoken about it publicly."