Nick Kyrgios was on Tuesday night given the green light to play his Wimbledon quarter-final despite facing charges for assaulting a former girlfriend.
The All England Club cleared him to play on No 1 Court, but said it was in contact with his team after it emerged he must appear before Australian magistrates next month.
Kyrgios, who had already been engulfed in controversy over his indiscipline on court, was accused by former partner Chiara Passari, who previously made claims against him on social media. An allegation of common assault, which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years, relates to an allegation that Kyrgios “grabbed” Passari, according to The Canberra Times newspaper.
The 27-year-old is thought to have been initially told of a summons last December, but it appears Wimbledon organisers had been unaware he faced a common assault charge next month.
“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,” a statement said. “We are in touch with Nick’s team and he remains scheduled to play his quarter-final match tomorrow.”
After the case became public on Tuesday, Kyrgios took to the practice courts, as planned, for his match against Cristian Garin. He declined to answer questions about the case but, as he was surrounded by reporters, instead declared to his trainer: “I feel like I’m in The Last Dance.”
The apparent reference to the Netflix TV series about the Chicago Bulls comes after he disclosed this week that he had been watching it before matches, having worn a T-shirt paying tribute to Dennis Rodman, one of its stars. Kyrgios currently has his own camera crew shadowing him at Wimbledon ahead of a Netflix documentary.
Wimbledon’s decision to keep Kyrgios in the tournament is in keeping with how it has dealt with similar situations in the past.
The case came to light after Kyrgios had already become one of Wimbledon’s biggest stories this year, having secured his quarter-final place with a five-set victory against Brandon Nakashima.
A spokesperson for ACT Policing, the Australian Federal Police unit responsible for Canberra, said in a statement: “ACT Policing can confirm a 27-year-old Watson man is scheduled to face the ACT Magistrates court on Aug 2 in relation to one charge of common assault following an incident in December 2021.”
Pierre Johannessen, a partner at Johannessen Legal, which is representing Kyrgios, said reports he had already been charged were “inaccurate”.
“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... 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.”
Kyrgios was already facing the latest in a series of warnings from Wimbledon officials, having broken the All England Club’s strict dress code, wearing a bright red cap after his latest match.
He had also faced a barrage of criticism for berating the umpire in his third-round win against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The world No 40 also received an £8,260 punishment after he admitted to spitting in the direction of a spectator who had heckled him during the first-round tie against Paul Jubb, and a £3,300 fine for swearing during the match against Tsitsipas.