Overnight, it was confirmed that Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios is set to face court in Canberra at the conclusion of the Wimbledon finals for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend.
The news breaks as Kyrgios chases a career-best grand slam semi-final berth at Wimbledon against Chilean Cristian Garen, this Wednesday evening (AEST).
While tournament organisers of Wimbledon declined to comment on the allegations, Kyrgios’ legal representatives released a statement early in the morning taking aim at the media for reporting that Kyrgios had been “charged” with assault.
“At the present time, the allegations are not considered as fact by the court, and Mr Kyrgios is not considered charged with an offence until the first appearance,” Pierre Johannessen of Johannessen Legal, said.
“Until the court formally accepts the prosecution will be proceeding with a charge, and that the charge before the court is to be applied to the person summoned to appear, it may be misleading to the public to describe the summons in any other manner than a formal direction to appear to face allegations.”
Johannessen added that Kyrgios was committed to addressing “any and all allegations”.
Nick Kyrgios on Monday: "Any publicity is good publicity"
— Ed Acteson (@Ed_Acteson) July 5, 2022
Kyrgios will appear at the Australia Capital Territory Magistrates’ Court on August 2 on an allegation of common assault against his former girlfriend, with the offence carrying out the possibility of a maximum two-year jail sentence.
The world No. 45 declined to field any questions or comments at practice, but was heard saying, “I feel like I’m in The Last Dance,” a reference to the 2020 Netflix docu-series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
While no charges have been made against Kyrgios, is it fair to assume that Kyrgios’ red flags have been staring the world straight in the face for years now? So much so that Kyrgios doesn’t even attempt to hide them anymore. He’s overly aggressive, he often plays the victim card, he’s a gaslighter and his arrogance can at times come off as being unsportsmanlike. Do we choose to ignore these signs because he is somewhat of an Australian sporting anti-hero?
Kyrgios’ former girlfriend, Chiara Passari, who is alleging that Kyrgios’ assaulted her in 2020, took to social media with examples of the type of language and behaviour he would use within their relationship.
For those of you who genuinely missed some of Chiara Passari's IG stories for whatever reason. This is what she had to say about her ex Nick Kyrgios. Some of these are from the day of that alleged altercation (police had to be called) and others few days later pic.twitter.com/rLK8gYUOhw
— NoFirstName claycourtdal (@SMSTNS) July 5, 2022
Yes, every country needs at least one outspoken tennis sporting star (don’t they?). The US had John McEnroe. Russia had Marat Safin. But none seem to match up to Australia’s own Nick Kyrgios. The so-called ‘bad boy of tennis’, Kyrgios is constantly making news headlines for his behaviour on and off the court.
His most recent stunt at the third round of Wimbledon between Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas caused quite the stir, with the world No.6 labelling Kyrgios a ‘bully’ post-match.
Kyrgios’ antics on court waiver between unregulated and disrespectful to his opponents and officials – he will often test the patience of chair officials – but spectators can’t get enough of the 27-year-old. He is, without doubt, one of the great modern players on the tour, and the type of game he brings to tennis is, at times, electrifying. The problem is that Kyrgios gives little regard to anyone that tells him what to do.
Nick Kyrgios does as he pleases. He even said so earlier this week in a post-match Wimbledon interview. “I do what I want.”
But this type of arrogance associated with talent can only take you so far; how far can Kyrgios travel on talent alone, is the question many pundits have posed. Now with a looming accusation of the alleged assault, it will be interesting to see whether Kyrgios doubles down and presents himself in a cordial manner at the Wimbledon quarter-finals, or whether he will give the press (and seemingly the world) what they want: the same spectacle.