The female fan Nick Kyrgios had removed from the Wimbledon final, claiming she was drunkenly heckling him, said she was “supporting” the Aussie tennis player in his eventual loss to Novak Djokovic.
“I understand what it is like to be an underdog so I wanted to give him support,” said Ania Palus, a medical lawyer from Poland, according to The Telegraph. “Maybe I took it too far so that I am sorry but I only had good intentions.”
Kyrgios complained to the umpire during the match with a furious request for Palus to be removed from her front row seat because she was “distracting” him.
“She is distracting me when I’m serving in a Wimbledon final. There’s not a bigger occasion. You did not believe me. And she did it again. It nearly cost me the game, ”Kyrgios told the umpire. “Why is she still here? She’s drunk out of her mind in the first row, speaking to me in the middle of a game. What’s acceptable? Nothing is acceptable? So kick her out!
“I know exactly which one it is. It’s the one who looks like she had about 700 drinks, bro. ”
Palus reportedly said she had only consumed a Pimm’s and a glass of rose. She was eventually removed from Center Court after Kyrgios’ complaint. She was allowed back in after 15 minutes.
“If you think one person saying ‘Come on, you can do it’ is so disturbing that he loses a game… how can he pick up a single fan who is clapping, rooting for him?” Palus told reporters.
Palus reportedly said she was supporting Kyrgios due in part to having suffered from depression, and could sympathize with the athlete, who has previously opened up about his mental health and experience with depression.
Djokovic defeated Kyrgios, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3), to claim his fourth straight Wimbledon title and his seventh overall.
“I do not need someone absolutely smashed talking to me point in, point out – do you know what I mean?” Kyrgios said in a post-match press conference.
Kyrgios later partied with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi and sister Halimah Kyrgios at London hot spot Wyld, according to social media posts.
Kyrgios faced separate scrutiny about his personal life amid his 2022 Wimbledon run. Last week, News.com.au reported that the 27-year-old s been charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari in an alleged incident stemming from December 2021.
He is due in a Canberra, Australia court on Aug. 2, and could face two years in prison if he is found guilty.