WIMBLEDON, England — The highlight on the Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, whose confrontations with opponents and Wimbledon officials have made his matches can’t-miss theater for the past week, grew hotter Tuesday when news emerged that the police have begun legal proceedings against him for assaulting a former girlfriend in December.
The accusations landed on the eve of considered one of his most significant matches, a quarterfinal showdown with Cristian Garín of Chile that he’s favored to win, and lower than 24 hours after he survived a five-set challenge from the American Brandon Nakashima on Monday.
That match was largely uneventful by Kyrgios standards, mostly lacking the battles with umpires, the racket smashing and even the spitting within the direction of fans that always occur when Kyrgios signs up for a tournament.
After the 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2 win Monday, Kyrgios spoke of how good he felt, how he had reached a sort of equilibrium in his life after years of turmoil and the way he has been in a position to enjoy moments on the tennis court in a way he rarely has up to now.
“That’s probably the primary time in my profession where I wasn’t playing well, no matter playing Centre Court Wimbledon, fully packed crowd, I used to be in a position to just say, ‘Wow, look how far I’ve come,’ to myself,” he said. “I used to be bouncing the ball before I served. I actually just smiled to myself. I used to be like, ‘We’re here, we’re competing at Wimbledon, putting in performance mentally.’”
Hours later, news broke in Australia that Kyrgios had been charged with one count of common assault related to an incident with an ex-girlfriend, Chiara Passari, in keeping with The Canberra Times and a press release from the police. Kyrgios is scheduled to look in court on Aug. 2.
“While Mr. Kyrgios is committed to addressing any and all allegations once clear, taking the matter seriously doesn’t warrant any misreading of the method Mr. Kyrgios is required to follow,” Pierre Johannessen, a lawyer for Kyrgios, said in a press release Tuesday evening.
Kyrgios didn’t register for a practice court on Tuesday, unlike the opposite players who’ve qualified for quarterfinals, including his opponent, Garín.
On Instagram, where Kyrgios is lively and has posted statements during previous controversies, he posted an image of himself speaking with a young girl at a tennis tournament and added the caption, “That is why I play ❤️ to all my kids on the market, consider in yourself.”
The charge against Kyrgios — he’s accused of grabbing Passari during a dispute — carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
The charge creates a clumsy situation for Wimbledon, but in addition the ATP, which organizes the lads’s skilled tour.
A spokesperson for the All England Club said Tuesday: “We’ve got been made aware of legal proceedings involving Nick Kyrgios in Australia, and as they’re ongoing, we aren’t able to supply a comment. We’re in contact with Nick’s team and he stays scheduled to play his quarterfinal match tomorrow.”
The ATP up to now has waited for the legal process to unfold before penalizing a player for behavior off the court.
But it surely got here under pressure to take motion after allegations surfaced that Alexander Zverev had attacked a former girlfriend twice in hotel rooms during tournaments, regardless that the girl had not filed charges with the police and said she wouldn’t accomplish that. Zverev has denied the allegations.
The ATP, which didn’t comment on the Kyrgios charge because, a spokesman said, the legal process just isn’t resolved, announced last yr that it was conducting an independent investigation of Zverev. The organization has not announced anything related to it aside from to say it was continuing. Zverev continued to compete on the tour until he injured an ankle in a semifinal match on the French Open last month against Rafael Nadal.
Tournament officials at Wimbledon have fined Kyrgios $14,000 for 2 infractions this yr: $10,000 after spitting within the direction of a fan after his first-round win and $4,000 tremendous for using an obscenity in his third-round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
He has also violated Wimbledon rules against having coloured clothing by walking onto the court wearing — though not playing in — red sneakers and baseball caps which were black or red.
“More attention for me,” he said Monday when asked a few potential penalty for the dress code violation. “What’s that saying? Any publicity is nice publicity, right?”