Tennis player Nick Kyrgios has admitted having trouble concentrating after being accused of domestic violence.
But the 27-year-old Australian declined to comment further on the allegation, saying he had been silenced by his lawyers.
He declined to confirm whether he would appear in court in Canberra next month after being subpoenaed to press charges for assaulting an ex-girlfriend.
But the controversy didn’t stop Kyrgios from reaching the Wimbledon semifinals on Wednesday after beating Chilean Cristian Garín in straight sets.
In a typical animated appearance on Court One, Kyrgios went on a rampage and appeared to berate those in his player box, including his father, sister and girlfriend, Costeen Hatzi.
“After all… I expect more,” he shouted in the first set. “Something something. There are five of you. Five of you.”
In his post-match press conference, Kyrgios admitted to having found the past 24 hours difficult. “I’m only human,” he told reporters. “Of course I read about it and of course everyone asked questions. It was difficult. It was hard to just focus on the mission.”
But he declined to comment further, saying: “Of course I have a lot of thoughts, a lot of things I want to say, kind of my side about it. It is clear that my lawyers have advised me that I cannot say anything at this time.”
Kyrgios added that the accusation did not affect his performance as he reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. He will face Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the world’s number 4, on Friday.
The world’s number 44 Kyrgios ex-girlfriend Ajla Tomljanović also faced a Court One showdown on Wednesday, but was defeated by 17th-seeded Elena Rybakina.
In light of the abuse allegations, Tomljanović later received questions from the press about her experience of a two-year relationship with Kyrgios.
The 29-year-old Australian said she was not aware of the reports, but when a journalist told how Kyrgios had been sued, she added: “It’s been a while since our relationship ended. Obviously, I’ve always kept my relationship very private. I’d like to keep it that way. I am absolutely against domestic violence. I hope it gets resolved. But yeah, I mean, I haven’t had that experience with him.”
A domestic violence charity has called for Kyrgios to be banned from Wimbledon after the allegations emerged on Tuesday.
Solace Women’s Aid said: “Wimbledon was comfortable banning players from Russia and Belarus in response to the war in Ukraine, so we see no reason why Wimbledon and the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] should not follow the example of agencies such as the US National Football League and ban tennis players from being charged with assault.”
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) police confirmed on Tuesday that Kyrgios has been subpoenaed on charges related to an incident in Canberra last December.
“ACT police can confirm that a 27-year-old Watson man is to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court on August 2 on one charge of ordinary assault following an incident in December 2021,” a spokesperson said.
In a statement released later on Tuesday, Kyrgios’ lawyer Pierre Johannessen said: “At this time, the allegations are not considered facts by the court and Mr Kyrgios will not be considered charged with a crime until his first appearance.”