Sunday Feb 05, 2023

Kyrgios blasts into Wimbledon semi-finals as ex-girlfriend hits back


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Nick Kyrgios has cast aside his domestic dramas to rant and rave his way into the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time.

Kyrgios had too much firepower for Cristian Garin, eliminating the unseeded Chilean 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in two hours and 13 minutes on Wednesday — barely 24 hours after being summonsed to a Canberra court over an assault allegation.

The 27-year-old is required in the ACT Magistrates Court on August 2 to potentially face a common assault charge amid reports he grabbed his former girlfriend Chiara Passari in an incident before Christmas last year.

The Daily Telegraph reports Ms Passari has spoken out against people who have questioned the timing of the assault allegations against her ex during Wimbledon.

She told the newspaper she went to ACT police in December but it took until this week for the tennis star to be charged.

Ms Passari said: “The world doesn’t revolve around Wimbledon.”

Nick Kyrgios Chiara Passari
Nick Kyrgios and former partner Chiara Passari.

It was difficult to know whether or not the looming court date was bothering him, though, as he delivered a typically Kyrgios display on show court No.1.

The hot-head berated his courtside box — which included his father, sister and current girlfriend Costeen Hatzi — almost from the get-go for apparently not offering sufficient support.

“After everything … I do expect more,” Kyrgios bellowed early on.

“Something …. SOMETHING! There’s five of you. Five of you,” he pleaded after failing to convert either of two break-back points in the sixth game.

But after losing the first nine points of the match, Kyrgios screamed “let’s go” when he eventually claimed a service break to forge a 4-3 lead en route to taking the opening set.

The combustible Canberran continued his running verbal battle throughout the match, often reminding his entourage how Garin had fought back from two sets to love to defeat fellow Australian Alex de Minaur in the fourth round.

“Does anyone know that? Does anyone know we’re at Wimbledon?” he moaned.

“Good job,” he clapped mockingly to his box on another occasion after double-faulting before repeating the gesture when Garin got a lucky net chord to bring up a double break point.

Nick Kyrgios says he ‘never thought’ he’d be at a Wimbledon semi-final. Photo: Getty

Despite all the theatrics, Kyrgios outclassed the South American in straight sets to finally live up to his rich potential and reach a grand slam semi-final for the first time.

Showing no signs of the shoulder injury that troubled him in his previous match, Kyrgios rocketed down another 17 aces to take his tournament-leading tally to 120.

He dropped serve only once — in the opening game of the match after Garin elected to return.

Kyrgios is the first Australian to progress to the men’s singles semi-finals at the All England Club since 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt made the last four 17 years ago.

“I just never thought I’d be at a semi-finals of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed,” an emotional Kyrgios said after taking several minutes in his courtside chair to soak in the moment.

“Honestly, I didn’t go about things great earlier in my career and I thought I may have wasted that little window.

“But just really proud about the way that I’ve come back out here and with my team and been able to enjoy it.”

The one-time world No.13, now ranked 40th after only playing a limited schedule in 2022, will face 22-times grand slam champion Rafael Nadal or American 11th seed Taylor Fritz on Friday for a place in the final.

Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic and British ninth seed Cameron Norrie will feature in Friday’s other semi.

-AAP





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