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Kyrgios's Wimbledon campaign to continue as assault hearing looms

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Nick Kyrgios’s claim that “any publicity is good publicity” is being put to the test after the Wimbledon quarter-finalist was summonsed to face a Canberra court over an assault allegation against his former partner.

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Kyrgios’s Wimbledon campaign was thrown into turmoil when it emerged late on Tuesday night that he was required in the ACT Magistrates Court on August 2.

The 27-year-old is potentially facing a common assault charge amid reports he grabbed his former girlfriend Chiara Passari in an incident before Christmas last year.

“ACT Policing can confirm a 27-year-old Watson man is scheduled to face the ACT Magistrates court … in relation to one charge of common assault following an incident in December 2021,” a police statement said.

The drama hit Kyrgios barely 24 hours before his scheduled quarter-final against unseeded Chilean Cristian Garin at the All England Club on Wednesday.

It’s Kyrgios’s biggest match since losing his 2015 Australian Open quarter-final to Andy Murray and the mercurial talent’s best opportunity yet to reach the last four at a slam for the first time.

In a statement to media this morning, the All England Club, which runs the Wimbledon tournament, said it had 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”, however “we are in touch with Nick’s team and he remains scheduled to play his quarter-final match”.

Chiara Passari and Nick Kyrgios in a photo posted to Instagram during their relationship.

The allegations surfaced hours after Kyrgios sarcastically dismissed a London tabloid reporter for grilling him over a decision to wear bright red shoes onto centre court and a red cap to his press conference, a move that flew in the face of the All England Club’s strict all-white dress code.

“Because I do what I want,” Kyrgios said after pulling off a five-set fourth-round win over American Brandon Nakashima.

“No, I’m not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans.”

When the reporter accused Kyrgios of moaning about the ongoing controversies surrounding him, the polarising star said: “I don’t moan. I love it. More attention for me.

“What’s that’s saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?”

Kyrgios, though, didn’t seem to be enjoying the latest publicity as he cut a dejected figure after a practise session at SW19 on Tuesday.

He refused to comment when confronted by cameras and a large media contingent, then sombrely departed the club, notably without girlfriend Costeen Hatzi, a constant at previous sessions this campaign and who he declared on Monday to be obsessed with.

Kyrgios spent the first week of the championships being probed in his post-match press conferences about his on-court behaviour after being fined $US10,000 ($A17,600) following his first-round win over British wildcard Paul Jubb and another $US4,000 ($A5,800) 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 a bombshell distraction after Kyrgios earlier promised to fight through the pain barrier of a shoulder injury that required two rounds of medical treatment during his fighting win over Nakashima.

Lawyer Pierre Johannessen from Johannessen Legal, meanwhile, released a statement early on Wednesday warning that, “Today’s media headline that Mr Kyrgios has been ‘charged’ is 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,” the statement said.

“… 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.”

Victory over the 43rd-ranked Garin would vault Kyrgios into a first Wimbledon semi-final on Friday against either 22-times grand slam champion Rafael Nadal or American 11th seed Taylor Fritz.

-AAP

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