Nick Kyrgios has been sensationally accused of orchestrating a ‘stage-managed kiss’ with his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi in a bid to deflect from assault allegations ahead of his quarter-final victory at Wimbledon.
With plenty of the world’s sporting media on hand at the All England Club, Kyrgios, 27, entered the practice courts hand in hand with his new squeeze on Wednesday.
He later took a break from his time on court to publicly plant a kiss on Hatzi’s lips.
It followed news earlier this week Kyrgios has been summoned to appear in an ACT court next month to answer allegations of assaulting his former partner Chiara Passari.
The alleged incident unfolded last December, with Kyrgios remaining tight-lipped on the situation following advice from his lawyers.
Speaking on the Today show, Nine reporter Tony Jones questioned whether Kyrgios’ public affection with Hatzi was an act.
Following his impressive quarter-final victory at Wimbledon, Kyrgios was repeatedly questioned about his pending court case regarding allegations of assault
Before his quarter-final triumph, Kyrgios planted a kiss on the lips of his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi on the practice courts – Nine reporter Tony Jones questioned whether it was an act
‘So he arrived at the practice courts. Look, you can see it was stage managed if you want to be completely cynical about it,’ Jones said in a stunning claim.
‘He was hand in hand with his girlfriend. He couldn’t have been more charming to everyone around him, getting selfies.’
Jones also pointed out Kyrgios chose the closest practice court to hit on, the one ‘closest to the cameras’.
Following his impressive straight sets quarter-final victory over Chile’s Cristian Garin on Court One, the post-match press conference was always going to be intriguing.
Kyrgios kept his composure when grilled by a tabloid reporter from the UK, who continued to press the on-court entertainer about his pending court case.
‘I have a lot of thoughts and things I want to say, my side of it,’ Kyrgios said.
‘But I’ve been advised by my lawyers that I can’t say anything about it at this time.’
Nick Kyrgios continues to impress at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals for the first time in his career despite assault allegations hanging over his head
He went onto state the allegations ‘didn’t really affect me at all’, but conceded it was ‘hard to focus on the mission at hand (which) was the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.’
When the UK journalist refused to wind it up and asked about his headspace surrounding the assault allegations, Kyrgios said he ‘didn’t want to sound like a broken record’ before an interpreter cut short the press conference.
Kyrgios also opened up about his struggle with the pressures of professional tennis when chatting with reporters.
‘There was a point I was almost done with the sport,’ he admitted.
‘I posted last year about the mental state I was in 2019. I was self-harming, I had suicidal thoughts.
‘To be a semi-finalist at Wimbledon is a special accomplishment for anyone but especially for me, if you had asked anyone if I could do that, they would have said no.
Kyrgios went Instagram official with Costeen Hatzi (pictured at Wimbledon) last December, following his split from longtime girlfriend Chiara Passari
Chiara Passari, an Australian artist and influencer (right) started dating the tennis star (left) in the middle of 2020 with the relationship lasting about 18 months
‘Doesn’t have the mental capacity, doesn’t have the physical capacity, doesn’t have the stamina. It’s been a rocky road to here.
‘At the start of the year I didn’t know if I wanted to play a proper schedule. I’d lost the love, I’d lost the spark.’
It’s not the first time Kyrgios has opened up about his mental health battles.
In March last year, he candidly said ‘he’d been to places he’s not proud’ of in a heartfelt motivational Instagram post aimed to inspire others.
‘This is for anyone who struggles with motivation, struggles with what their purpose is, for those who have days when you don’t want to get out of bed, it’s OK,’ Kyrgios’ post began.
‘I’ve been to places that I’m not proud of, people telling me all the time, ‘waste of talent, disappointment’.
‘Dealt with disgusting racism, got told by people close to me they have lost hope. I know what it feels like when you think no one is understanding the struggles that are in your head.’
He had a inspirational message to others who had found themselves in a dark place.
‘I’m telling you right now, everything will be OK, enjoy this beautiful life in front of you, do what makes YOU happy. Don’t take this opportunity for granted,’ Kyrgios wrote.
‘Feel free to reach out to me if you are feeling lost, or like you can’t go to anyone. I’m here for you.’
Kyrgios will take on world No.4 Nadal – who has already started the mind games by declaring he is battling a serious abdominal injury – for a spot in the Wimbledon final from 10.30pm on Friday (AEST).