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Stefanos Tsitsipas says his Nick Kyrgios comments were ‘misinterpreted’ after some ‘insinuated racism where none exists’

Stefanos Tsitsipas has said that his comments made on Netflix’s “Break Point” docuseries about Nick Kyrgios were “misinterpreted” after some individuals on social media perceived them as racist.

Speaking about his third-round loss to the Australian at Wimbledon last year, Tsitsipas said in “Break Point” that Kyrgios’ approach to tennis is “uneducated” and that he brings “that NBA basketball kind of attitude” to the sport.

The world No. 5 said in a statement Friday on social media: “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.”

Tsitsipas wrote that he “deeply regrets any hurt or offense” caused by his comments, adding that they “were not meant to undermine (Kyrgios’) intelligence or abilities … 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.”

Kyrgios responded with a statement of his own on social media, saying on Saturday: “We’ve had some crazy battles and I know deep down you like my brand of tennis … we are all good.”

Their Wimbledon match was “a very heated battle,” Kyrgios added, and “sometimes as players we got into these press conferences without digesting the match.”

Tempers had flared during their fiery encounter at Wimbledon. Tsitsipas hit a ball into the crowd, for which he later apologized, and admitted to trying to hit Kyrgios with a body shot. Both players were fined afterwards, Tsitsipas for unsportsmanlike conduct and Kyrgios for an audible obscenity.

They continued to trade barbs off the court – the Greek fourth seed calling his opponent “evil” and a “bully,” while Kyrgios said Tsitsipas is “not liked” in the locker room.

After defeating Tsitsipas 6-7(2) 6-4 6-3 7-6(7), Kyrgios continued his Wimbledon run and reached the final where he succumbed to Novak Djokovic.

Both players are due to compete in this year’s tournament, which begins on July 3.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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