Nick Kyrgios to Face Court Over Abuse Allegations

Nick Kyrgios has progressed to the Wimbledon semi-finals after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday. But a match against Rafael Nadal isn’t the only thing he’s preparing to face – back home, Kyrgios has been served a court summons for abuse allegations.

Canberra police have confirmed that they’ve charged Nick Kyrgios with one count of assault, based on allegations by former girlfriend Chiara Passari. Passari has accused Kyrgios of aggressively grabbing her during an altercation last December.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson said “ACT Policing can confirm a 27-year-old Watson man is scheduled to face the ACT Magistrates Court on the 2nd of August in relation to one charge of common assault following an incident in December 2021.”

The timing of the news, which broke just before Kyrgios’ quarter-final, was coincidental. Speaking to a press conference after the match, Kyrgios said “I’m only human. Obviously I read about it and obviously everyone else was asking questions. It was hard. It was hard to kind of just focus on the mission at hand.”

He has not said whether he will appear in court next month, and refused to comment further on the allegations, under the advice of his legal team.

Historically, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has not taken action against players for behaviour off-court before the resolution of legal processes. But recently, the organisation came under pressure to penalise German player Alexander Zverev.

Zverev, currently ranked 2nd in the world, has faced allegations he repeatedly attacked an ex-girlfriend. The woman has not filed criminal charges, but Zverev went to court to contest publication of abuse accusations in the media last year.

The ATP announced last year it was conducting an independent investigation into Zverev’s behaviour. This investigation appears to be ongoing, but Zverev continued to compete on the men’s tour until an ankle injury took him out of rotation last month.

The All England Club acknowledged the allegations against Kyrgios on Tuesday, but said they were “not in a position to offer a comment.”

Another of Kyrgios’ ex-girlfriends, Aussie player Ajla Tomljanović, also competed at Wimbledon this year. Her post-match press conference opened with questions about their two-year relationship. “I’m definitely against domestic violence. I hope it gets resolved,” said Tomljanović, “But, yeah, I mean, I haven’t had that experience with him.”

She later took to Twitter to express her frustration at the questions. Others agreed, including Patty Kinnersly, CEO of the national agency for the prevention of violence against women, Our Watch. “It is not a woman’s job to be a spokesperson for alleged or substantiated violence perpetrated against her gender,” she told ABC Sport.

Kyrgios has already picked up over AUD$20,000 worth of fines for bad behaviour at Wimbledon, including for spitting in the direction of a fan and using obscenities on the court.

Asked about a possible penalty for dress-code infractions after the same quarter-final, Kyrgios replied, “More attention for me. What’s that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?”

Cover image: “Nick Kyrgios” by ThoamsB is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

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