Once again talk about Nick Kyrgios isn’t all about serves, forehands and volleys. The Australian has made it to the quarter-finals – where he will face Chile’s Cristian Garin on Court 1 – but the focus has been more about self-aggrandising moans and sartorial faux-pas than the world No 40’s undoubted skill.
His four-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round resulted in accusations that Kyrgios had bullied the world No 5. Asked about the Greek player’s accusations, the Australian said he was “not sure” how he had bullied his opponent.
“He was the one hitting balls at me, he was the one that hit a spectator, he was the one that smacked it out of the stadium,” he said. “I didn’t do anything. Apart from me just going back and forth to the umpire for a bit, I did nothing towards Stefanos that was disrespectful.”
Cue the next match and another controversy, this time revolving around his choice of clothing.
Kyrgios, who secured his quarter-final place with a five-set victory against Brandon Nakashima, walked on court in a pair of largely red Nike Air Jordan trainers before then also putting them back on after the match and conducting his interview in a red cap (rules state that players must be decked out in “almost entirely white” from the moment they walk on court).
It is understood that Kyrgios, who has already been fined this tournament (he received an £8,260 punishment after he admitted to spitting in the direction of a spectator who had heckled him during the first-round tie against Paul Jubb, and a £3,300 fine for swearing during the match against Tsitsipas), has been given a verbal reminder about the dress code.
When asked about his non-adherence to the clothing rules the Australian simply replied: “I do what I want”.
Then yesterday, news emerged that Kyrgios is facing a court date back home after an ex-girlfriend accused him of assaulting her. The All England Club cleared him to play today, but said it was in contact with his team after it emerged he must appear before Australian magistrates next month.
After the case became public on Tuesday, Kyrgios took to the practice courts, as planned, for his match against Garin, declining to answer questions about the case but, as he was surrounded by reporters, instead declared to his trainer: “I feel like I’m in The Last Dance”, a reference to the Netflix documentary about the Chicago Bulls.
As it happens, Kyrgios currently has his own camera crew shadowing him at Wimbledon ahead of a documentary on the same streaming platform.
Stay here for all the action in what is sure to be a fascinating match as the Australian bids to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.