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Nick Kyrgios charged with assaulting ex amid yet anothe...

Sport

COURTING TROUBLE

Nick Kyrgios charged with assaulting ex while he storms into yet another row at Wimbledon

Nick Kyrgios during his fourth-round match against Brandon Nakashima at Wimbledon on 4 July 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Tolga Akmen)

News that Nick Kyrgios faces a court for assault charges in Australia next month has overshadowed his run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios will appear before a Canberra court next month following a charge of alleged assault for an incident in 2021, local police said this week.

A statement from Australian Capital Territory Policing did not identify Kyrgios but The Canberra Times quoted the lawyer of the former world No 13 as saying that the charge was related to a “domestic relationship”.

“ACT Policing can confirm a 27-year-old Watson man is scheduled to face the ACT Magistrates’ Court on the 2nd of August in relation to one charge of common assault following an incident in December 2021,” it said.

Australian media said the charge was related to a complaint made by Kyrgios’s former partner, Chiara Passari.

“It’s in the context of a domestic relationship,” Kyrgios’s barrister, Jason Moffett, was quoted as saying by The Canberra Times.

“The nature of the allegation is serious, and Mr Kyrgios takes the allegation very seriously. Given the matter is before the court… he doesn’t have a comment at this stage, but in the fullness of time we’ll issue a media release.”

Moffett did not respond to requests for comment, while an email sent to Kyrgios’s representative was not answered.

Kyrgios became the first athlete last month to join Evolve, the new sports agency co-founded by four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

The 27-year-old will face Chile’s Cristian Garin on Wednesday in the men’s quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

Stefanos Tsitsipas leaves the court after losing to Nick Kyrgios in the third round at Wimbledon on 2 July 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Kieran Galvin)

Wimbledon organisers, the All England Club, said it had been made aware of Kyrgios’s situation but would not comment because legal proceedings were ongoing. “We are in touch with Nick’s team and he remains scheduled to play his quarterfinal match tomorrow,” a spokesperson said.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Bad boy Nick Kyrgios claims dramatic victory over wild card Paul Jubb during Wimbledon Day 2

The Australian has been fined a total of $14,000 during 2022’s grass-court major for two offences – spitting towards a fan after his first-round win and then for swearing in a fiery third-round clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nick Kyrgios in action against Brandon Nakashima at Wimbledon on 4 July 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Tolga Akmen)

“The ATP is aware of the Australian case involving Nick Kyrgios, but as legal proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” the men’s governing body ATP told Reuters by email.

In October 2021, Kyrgios and his former model girlfriend Passari were moved to separate rooms in their Adelaide quarantine hotel after an argument.

An undeniable talent, Kyrgios can beat any top player when in form and in the mood, but he has a long list of previous brushes with the tennis authorities.

Not since the days of John McEnroe’s tantrums has a player polarised opinion as much as Kyrgios and there is always a buzz surrounding the maverick Australian, whether it be on court or at his media conferences.

A ‘bully’

Greece’s world No 5 Tsitsipas labelled Kyrgios a “bully” with “an evil side” to his character after losing their bad-tempered Wimbledon clash last week. 

Kyrgios came out on top 6-7(2) 6-4 6-3 7-6(7) after more than three incident-packed hours, but the feuding continued in the post-match media conferences.

Kyrgios had kept up a running dialogue with the umpire at times during the match, was warned for swearing and upset his opponent to such an extent that Tsitsipas tried to hit him with a smash after coming close to being defaulted for whacking a ball in frustration into the crowd.

The 23-year-old Tsitsipas was booed by the crowd at one stage after losing his composure in what he described as a Kyrgios circus. After his loss on Court One, Tsitsipas made his feelings known in no uncertain terms.

“Yeah, it’s constant bullying, that’s what he does. He bullies opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself. I don’t like bullies,” Tsitsipas said.

“I don’t like people that put other people down. He has some good traits in his character as well. But he also has a very evil side to him, which if exposed, can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action against Nick Kyrgios during the third round at Wimbledon on 2 July 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Kieran Galvin)

Kyrgios, fined $10,000 (about R166,000) after his first-round match for spitting towards a fan, was warned for swearing on Saturday and then called for Tsitsipas to be defaulted after the Greek hit a ball close to a spectator’s head after losing the second set.

Afterwards he laughed off Tsitsipas’s remarks about bullying and said the Greek had “serious issues”.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m not sure how I bullied him. 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,” said Kyrgios, who is in the last 16 for the fourth time.

“I did nothing towards Stefanos today that was disrespectful. I was not drilling him with balls. To come in here and say I bullied him, that’s just soft. We’re not cut from the same cloth. I go up against guys who are true competitors.

“I’ve got many friends in the locker room, just to let you know. I’m actually one of the most liked. I’m set. He’s not liked. Let’s just put that there.”

Kyrgios later said Tsitsipas should be more concerned with his losing record against him, having also been beaten in Halle recently.

“I would be pretty upset if I lost to someone two weeks in a row. Maybe he should figure out how to beat me a couple more times first,” the Australian said.

Tsitsipas conceded he had tried to hit Kyrgios with a smash in the third set.

“I was aiming for the body of my opponent, but I missed by a lot,” he said. “I’m not used to play this way. But I cannot just sit there, act like a robot and act like someone that is completely cold and ignorant.

“Because you’re out there doing your job, and you have noise coming from the other side of the court for no absolute reason.” Reuters/DM

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