Nick Kyrgios to appear in court on assault charges in Australia

WIMBLEDON, England – The spotlight on Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, whose spats with opponents and Wimbledon officials led to his matches being held at a theater last week, heated up on Tuesday when it was reported that police had opened a trial. him for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in December.

The allegations came on the eve of one of his most important matches, a quarter-final against Chile’s Cristian Garin, that he is favored, and less than 24 hours after surviving a five-set challenge from American Brandon Nakashima on Monday.

This match was largely uneventful by Kyrgios standards, mostly lacking the fights with umpires, racket-smashing, and even fan-favorites that often occur when Kyrgios competes in a tournament.

After his 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2 victory on Monday, Kyrgios spoke about how good he felt about finding balance in his life after years of turmoil. And how he was able to enjoy moments on the tennis court like rarely.

“It’s probably the first time in my career that I didn’t play well, even though I played at Wimbledon on Center Court, full of fans, I was able to just say, ‘Wow, look how far I’ve come,'” he said. “I was returning the ball before serving. I really only smiled to myself. I was like, ‘Here we are, fighting at Wimbledon, playing a good game mentally.’

Hours later, news broke in Australia that Kyrgios had been charged with common assault related to an incident with ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari, according to The Canberra Times and a police statement. Kyrgios is scheduled to appear in court on August 2.

“While Mr. Kyrgios is committed to addressing any and all allegations as they arise, taking the matter seriously does not warrant a misreading of Mr. Kyrgios’s proceedings,” Pierre Johannessen, Kyrgios’ lawyer, said in a statement on Tuesday. evening

Kyrgios did not check in on the practice court on Tuesday, unlike other players who qualified for the quarterfinals, including his opponent, Garrin.

Taking to Instagram, where Kyrgios has been active and posted during the previous controversy, he posted a picture of himself talking to a young girl at a tennis tournament, adding the caption: “This is why I play ❤️ To all my young people, believe me. in himself.”

The charge against Kyrgios – he is accused of grabbing Pasari during an argument – carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

The allegation creates an awkward situation for Wimbledon, but also for the ATP, which organizes the men’s professional tour.

A spokesman for the All England club said on Tuesday: “We have been made aware of the legal proceedings in Australia relating to Nick Kyrgios, and as they are ongoing we are unable to offer any comment. We are in contact with Niki’s team and the quarter-final match remains tomorrow.

The ATP has in the past waited for legal proceedings to begin before fining a player for on-court conduct.

But he has come under pressure after allegations emerged that Alexander Zverev twice assaulted his ex-girlfriend in hotel rooms during tournaments, even though the woman did not press charges and said she would not. Zverev denied the accusations.

The ATP, which has not commented on Kyrgios’ allegations because a spokesman said the legal process was pending, announced last year that it was conducting an independent investigation into Zverev. The organization has not said anything about it, except that it is continuing. Zverev continued to compete on tour until injuring his ankle in his French Open semifinal match against Rafael Nadal last month.

Wimbledon tournament officials fined Kyrgios $14,000 for two violations this year: $10,000 after spitting at a fan after his first-round win and $4,000 for using profanity in his third-round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

He also broke Wimbledon’s rules on wearing colored clothing when he took to the court wearing red sneakers and baseball caps that were either black or red.

“More attention for me,” he said Monday when asked about the potential fine for the dress code violation. “What does that say? Any publicity is good publicity, right?”

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