Mats Wilander thinks ‘tennis people’ could be upset over Nick Kyrgios’ run to Wimbledon as he faces another fine following his win over Brandon Nakashima.
But Kyrgios was then faced with questions about his clothes as he walked onto Center Court in red trainers and then changed into them afterwards, complete with a red cap.
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Wimbledon rules state that players must wear almost all-white clothing once they enter the court.
When later asked why he chose the red cap and sneakers, Kyrgios replied, “Because I do what I want.
He was then asked if he felt above the rules, and he replied: “No. I’m not above the rules…I just like to wear my Jordans.”
Kyrgios also said he finds the criticism of his behavior funny” and thinks his run at Wimbledon has “upset a lot of people”.
“I think those people are mostly tennis people who are afraid that more people will start to cross the line; there are rules,” said seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander.
“The fans are more excited to have him in the tournament than probably any other player in the history of our sport apart from Roger Federer and Andy Murray at Wimbledon. People love Kyrgios here.
Wilander added: “He is more dedicated. It shows physically, he is in better shape. Mentally you can see it. He’s still Nick Kyrgios but he’s focused on most points and focused on winning. He was there to win.
“Is it Nick Kyrgios who has finally kind of reached his potential in terms of results, and potentially threatens the best players in the world by maybe going all the way or making it to the semi-finals of the Slam, and maybe even having a chance to make it to finals?
“I have to say that’s the only thing I’m looking forward to this week because you don’t know if that’s going to happen. We might have a different Nick Kyrgios in the future than the one we have. seen in the last six, seven years.
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Kyrgios, who seemed bothered by a shoulder problem in the win over Nakashima, will next face Chilean Cristian Garin.
The winner of the quarter-final will face either Taylor Fritz or Rafael Nadal in the last four.
Reflecting on Kyrgios’ latest display, former world number 2 Alex Corretja said: “He knows how he behaves, there are people who don’t like him, but others like him.
“I think in a way it’s good because he brings a totally different style. But as we always say there must be a line and a respectful line with his opponent, the referee and the spectators that he must not cross. I don’t care if he likes to have fun with his shots but there is one line that is difficult.
“I don’t know about the red cap…it’s about the tournament to tell him something and give him a fine or whatever he has to do.”
It’s the first time Kyrgios has made a Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2015 Australian Open.
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He says he is able to “handle” injury issues like his shoulder better than he was earlier in his career.
“I’ve been playing so much tennis in the last month and a half, so I almost knew it was time my body started feeling concerned. I think it’s normal.
“At this point in the event, I don’t think anyone feels 100%. Obviously Rafa [Nadal], you see him dealing with something bothersome all the time. It’s just something I deal with.
“Mentally I feel like I’m handling these things a lot better now. Earlier in my career I knew today that I didn’t feel 100%. But mentally I stayed pretty calm, you know. , knowing that I was not able to serve all the way through the five sets. Obviously, I had to take painkillers.
“Like I said, I didn’t return well for a while and then I stuck to my guns in the fifth set. I felt like my level in the fifth set went up while his level went down a bit.
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