Nick Kyrgios laughed off questions regarding his on-pitch attire as he opted to change shoes and hat before taking a post-match interview following his daring performance in the fourth round.
Kyrgios’ detractors were desperate for something, anything, to highlight his impressive five-set victory, where he battled shoulder ailment throughout, receiving treatment on several occasions.
But if his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas was a “circus”, as the defeated Greek proposed, it was anything but.
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Except for a few words with the chair umpire at the end of the contest, Kyrgios was focused and almost reserved at times.
Few sports stars are so polarizing – and when Kyrgios swapped his hat and shoes for a Jordan-branded red cap and matching trainers, it gave his detractors – who were fewer in number than in his last game, to obvious reasons – the ammunition they needed.
Kyrgios books a ticket for the quarters
In a comment, Australian legend Todd Woodbridge said his compatriot “may get a letter in his locker” regarding the hat and shoe change.
The 27-year-old’s post-victory press conference had nothing to do with the fighting environment of two days ago, until the very end.
A reporter has floated the idea that Kyrgios is inviting his own controversy, including an open display of clear wardrobe rules.
“Why then would you walk onto center court in bright red sneakers and do an interview in a red cap?” Kyrgios was questioned.
The answer was typically Kyrgios.
“Because I do what I want,” he replied, before being pressed on whether or not he thought he was above the rules.
“No. I’m not above the rules. I just like to wear my Jordans.
The series of questions continued despite a moderator’s attempt to intervene, when Kyrgios was quick to correct the reporter, telling him he hadn’t “groaned” about the controversy.
“I didn’t complain. I love it,” he said.
“Yeah, it’s just more attention for me. What does that mean? All publicity is good publicity, right?
“Keep defending yourself then,” he told the asker of the question before continuing.
Kyrgios will have a day off before taking on Chilean Cristian Garin for a place in the last four.
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