Nick Kyrgios got into a tense exchange after breaking the rules before he even played a point at Wimbledon on Monday night.
Nike, it’s time to increase Nick Kyrgios’ contract.
After giving the press little to work with in a composed – some might say moderate – five-set victory over Brandon Nakashima, one reporter still found a way to stir up controversy.
Watch Tennis Live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live coverage of ATP + WTA Tour tournaments, including every match in the finals. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
The issue to be addressed was the Aussie’s wardrobe choices – specifically a pair of red Jordans and a matching cap.
Players are required to wear almost all-white attire once they enter the Wimbledon arena, but Kyrgios came in casual for his fourth-round clash against the 20-year-old American.
It wasn’t the first time he exceeded the tournament guidelines, but a reporter wanted to make an issue of it during Kyrgios’ post-match press conference. And it got tense.
Journalist: It’s interesting your comments earlier on the controversy that seems to be materializing around you. We all know that Wimbledon dress code rules are very strict. Competitors must be dressed in proper tennis attire which is almost entirely white – and this applies from the moment the player enters the court enclosure. Why then would you walk onto center court in bright red sneakers and do an interview in a red cap?
Kyrgios: Because I do what I want.
Journalist: So you’re above the rules?
Kyrgios: No, I’m not above the rules.
Journalist: So what is it? They don’t apply to you?
Kyrgios: I just like to wear my Jordans.
Journalist: But there are specific rules against this. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but the referee will tell you about it.
Kyrgios: Its good. I’ll be wearing triple whites tomorrow.
Journalist: But that’s fine then. No one else, in either draw, is wearing…
Kyrgios: But no one else – even after Wimbledon – no one else really walks with Jordans on the court.
(The moderator tries to intervene)
Journalist: Sorry, but Nick just moaned about the controversy surrounding him.
Kyrgios: I didn’t moan. I love it.
Journalist: So you’re just kidding then?
Kyrgios: Yeah, it’s just more attention for me. What does it say? All publicity is good publicity, right?
Journalist: If you say so.
Kyrgios: Continue to champion then.
But even that little bit couldn’t take away the shine from the Aussie’s mature performance – and Kyrgios says he agrees with any criticism anyway.
“I just smile,” he said. “It’s so funny. Hilarious. I almost just wake up and read stuff, and laugh.
“And I never forget anything. Whether it was three, four years ago. I have a huge chip on my shoulder. I’m sitting here in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon again, and I just know there are so many people who are so upset.
“None of you know me at all – people just like to have an opinion.”