Wimbledon: Kyrgios revels in controversy and laughs off criticism

Patric Ridge
Stats Perform
Nick Kyrgios donned a red cap and trainers for his post-match interview
Nick Kyrgios donned a red cap and trainers for his post-match interview

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios admitted to having a "chip on his shoulder" but dismissed the suggestion he bemoaned the controversy that seems to follow him, insisting he "loves it".

Two days on from an ill-tempered victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas that resulted in both players been fined, Kyrgios defeated 20-year-old Brandon Nakashima to progress to the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

It will be the Australian's first appearance in the last eight of the singles draw at a major since 2015 in Melbourne, however, with his other grand slam quarter-final showing having come at Wimbledon in 2014 – Kyrgios having beaten Rafael Nadal to reach that stage on that occasion.

Cristian Garin of Chile is next up, after what was a reasonably well-mannered display against Nakashima, who Kyrgios was full of praise for.

Yet he still managed to spark some contention on Monday, having wore a red cap and a pair of red Nike Jordan trainers during his post-match on-court interview, breaching Wimbledon's strict dress code.

This was put to Kyrgios in his post-match news conference, with the journalist in question asking the 27-year-old if he thought he was above the rules.

"Because I do what I want," Kyrgios replied. "I'm not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans. I'll wear some [Jordan] triple whites tomorrow.

"Nobody else, even after Wimbledon, really walks with Jordans on the court. I don't moan [about controversy], I love it – more attention for me.

"What's that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?"

Kyrgios' fellow Australian Pat Cash said over the weekend that his compatriot had taken tennis to "the lowest level".

Yet Kyrgios insists he now laughs off criticism, which he believes is a sign of how he has matured as a player.

"Honestly, I don't care. I just smile. It's so funny. It's hilarious," he chuckled. "I almost just wake up and read things and just laugh.

"I never forget things people might have said three, four years ago, they stick with me. I have a massive chip on my shoulder.

"And I sit here now, quarter-finals of Wimbledon again, and I just know there's so many people that are so upset. It's a good feeling.

"I don't think in the past when I’ve got this far in a grand slam, or played big matches, I used to be on my phone a lot, attached to technology, seeing everyone's opinions or highlights, but I feel like I'm able to switch off from that, and that's a big part of my growth. Being obsessed with my girlfriend helps!

"I'm really able to just let that go, separate tennis and life, I think that's the most important thing."

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