Wimbledon organisers have given Nick Kyrgios the all-clear to take the court for Wednesday night’s quarter-final clash, despite revelations that the Australian star faces a court summons over an assault allegation.
Kyrgios went to ground on Wednesday after it emerged late on Tuesday that he had been summonsed to face ACT Magistrates Court on August 2.
The accusation of assault reportedly relates to Kyrgios’ former girlfriend Chiara Passari.
On Wednesday, the Nine Network reported that the 27-year-old Australian – who usually practises ahead of matches in front of the cameras – hit practice courts out of sight of the media, warming up for his quarter-final match against Chilean Cristian Garin.
It followed a tense earlier confrontation with British media, who asked Kyrgios to comment on the allegations.
The world No.40 ignored the cameras, although he was reportedly overhead telling a member of his entourage that “I feel like I’m in The Last Dance” – a reference to the Netflix series about Michael Jordan’s illustrious career at the Chicago Bulls.
Kyrgios’ only public response so far has been a photo posted to his Instagram showing him with a young fan.
“This is why I play. To all my youngsters out there, believe in yourself,” he captioned the image, which was posted shortly after the allegations were revealed.
Earlier, the All England Club released a statement saying Wimbledon was aware of the court summons, and that Kyrgios’ quarter-final would go ahead.
“We have been made aware of legal proceedings involving Nick Kyrgios in Australia, and as they are ongoing, we are not in a position to offer a comment,” the statement read.
“We are in touch with Nick’s team and he remains scheduled to play his quarter-final match tomorrow.”
The allegations relate to an assertion that Kyrgios grabbed Ms Passari, The Canberra Times reports.
Kyrgios’ barrister Jason Moffett said the Australian star was taking the allegation “very seriously”. He told the paper an assault charge, which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years, would be “in the context of a domestic relationship”.
“The nature of the allegation is serious, and Mr Kyrgios takes the allegation very seriously,” Mr Moffett said.
“Given the matter is before the court … he doesn’t have a comment at this stage.”
The tennis star’s legal team later clarified in a statement that Kyrgios had not yet been officially charged.
“While Mr Kyrgios is committed to addressing any and all allegations once clear, taking the matter seriously does not warrant any misreading of the process Mr Kyrgios is required to follow,” the statement said.
Kyrgios and then-partner Passari were reportedly separated by police while in hotel quarantine in South Australia in October last year. Police said at the time the couple had been involved in a verbal argument.
Kyrgios has already been grilled repeatedly by the British media this week for his behaviour at Wimbledon. The one-time world No.13 was fined $10,000 ($17,600) following his first-round win over British wildcard Paul Jubb and another $4000 ($5800) after a fractious third-round victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
He can expect another lively press conference after playing Garin, win or lose.
The pending court case is an unwanted distraction after Kyrgios promised to fight through the pain barrier of a shoulder injury that required two rounds of treatment during his five-set fourth-round win over American Brandon Nakashima on Monday.
“I woke up after Tsitsipas and had some shoulder pain. I’ve played so much tennis in the last month and a half, so I almost knew that it was time for my body to start feeling some niggles,” he said.
“I think that’s normal. At this time in the event I don’t think anyone is feeling 100 per cent.
“Obviously Rafa [Nadal], you see him dealing with something niggling all the time. I just don’t think there’s anyone feeling 100 per cent.
“It’s just something I manage. Mentally I feel like I just deal with these things a lot better now.”
Kyrgios said he never felt physically 100 per cent against Nakashima.
“But mentally I stayed quite calm, knowing I wasn’t able to serve full out for the whole five sets. Obviously I had to take painkillers,” he said.
“I wasn’t returning well for a period of time, then I just stuck to my guns in the fifth set. I felt like the level in the fifth set for me was raised whereas his level kind of went away a little bit.”
Victory over the 43rd-ranked Garin on Wednesday night would vault Kyrgios into a maiden grand slam semi-final against either Nadal or American 11th seed Taylor Fritz.
– with AAP