Nick Kyrgios says allegation of assault ‘didn’t really affect me at all’ in preparation for Wimbledon quarter final

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios says while it has been a “hard” 24 hours, a looming assault allegation did not affect him in the lead-up to booking a spot at the Wimbledon semifinals. 

The world number 30 had a comfortable straight-sets victory over Cristian Garín on Wednesday, beating the Chilean 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to set up his first-ever appearance in a grand slam semifinal.

He will now face two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinal after the Spaniard defeated American Taylor Fritz in a five-set epic on Centre Court.

The 27-year-old has been summoned to appear in a Canberra court on August 2 where he will face one charge of common assault, believed to be against his ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari. 

Kyrgios, who said his road to Wimbledon had been “rocky”, was repeatedly questioned about the court summons in the post-match press conference but said he was advised by his lawyers not to discuss the matter.

“Obviously, I’ve been advised by my lawyers that I’m unable to say anything at this time.

“Look, I understand everyone wants to kind of ask about it and all that, but I can’t give you too much on that right now.”

Nick Kyrgios is now under the global spotlight of Wimbledon.(AP: Alberto Pezzali)

Kyrgios repeatedly downplayed the impact the allegation had on his Wimbledon quarter-finals preparation.

“Obviously seeing it — I’m only human. Obviously, I read about it and obviously, everyone else was asking questions.

“It was hard to kind of just focus on kind of the mission at hand.

“It was quarterfinals of Wimbledon today — I know deep down that’s what I was prepared for, I knew I stayed true to myself and gave my best performance today.”

Kyrgios was also quizzed over a tweet from British teen tennis sensation Emma Radacanu, who wrote “NK” followed by a wand emoji shortly after the Australian’s quarterfinal victory.


He said he had not spoken much with her before but said he was happy if she enjoyed watching his tennis.

“I’ve kind of stuck up for her a bit in the media with some of the stuff that older legends kind of love to just throw shade and have their opinions on young players,” he said.

“I enjoy watching her tennis, as well.”

Under the Wimbledon spotlight

Nick Kyrgios sits on the ground looking at his phone
Nick Kyrgios was at practice when he was informed of the summons to appear in an ACT court.  (Reuters: Paul Childs)

Kyrgios’s on-court antics have made headlines throughout his career, with this year’s Wimbledon tournament being no exception.

He had been reprimanded twice for his on-court behaviour and fined a total of more than $20,000 at this year’s grass-court grand slam before news of the alleged assault broke.

The player was fined for spitting in the direction of a spectator during his round-one victory over local hope Paul Jubb and fined again for an audible obscenity in his spiteful third-round victory over Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas.

At his post-match press conference on Tuesday, just hours before news of the assault allegation emerged, Kyrgios told reporters “any publicity is good publicity”. 

At that stage, the controversy surrounding Kyrgios was about his choice to wear red sneakers and a red cap — two colourful violations of the all-white Wimbledon dress code.  

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“I just like wearing my Jordans,” Kyrgios said when questioned on Wimbledon’s dress code.(Wimbledon)

As news of the assault allegation broke, Kyrgios was heard saying it “feels like I’m in the Last Dance”, as reporters followed him out of the practice area — a reference to the Michael Jordan Netflix documentary.

Despite his love for attention, Kyrgios is now under the global spotlight of Wimbledon — and is being watched by the world — as he faces an allegation of criminal behaviour that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

Mixed reactions from Wimbledon fans

Nick Kyrgios signs autographs at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios still appeared to be popular with fans at Wimbledon, signing autographs after his quarterfinal win.(Reuters: Paul Childs)

During the quarterfinal match, Kyrgios muttered to himself and occasionally yelled towards his team in the players’ box, but remained relatively composed compared to some of his previous performances.

Many fans at the ground were divided about the Australian’s on-court antics, while some were unconvinced he should be playing at all.  

London locals Wendy Loh and Jonathan Christer both watched him on Court One. 

“But then I kind of want to watch just good tennis, to be fair.”

Mr Christer said he was not convinced Kyrgios should be on-court while he faces criminal charges at home. 

Long-time Wimbledon spectator Jane Ramsay said she believed people had grown tired of watching his bad behaviour on court. 

“There is a code of conduct which is expected, and people should respect that,” she said. 

“It’s very difficult for sportspeople because they’re under a lot of pressure all of the time, but that is the same for everybody.” 

Nick Kyrgios looks over his shoulder as he sits on a practice court at Wimbledon.
Fans have mixed feelings about Kyrgios’s on-court behaviour.(Reuters: Paul Childs)

Anna Sebastian tries to attend Wimbledon every year and said she was very concerned to hear about the allegation against him.  

“I will respect that at the moment it’s an allegation. I think these things have to be taken very, very seriously,” she said.

Kyrgios is never one to shy away from attention and he has repeatedly stated he does not care about negative press, but it is no longer just the court of public opinion that will judge him. 

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