Nick Kyrgios appeared to go out of his way to wind up the Wimbledon authorities by breaking competition rules the moment he stepped onto Centre Court. And the referee’s office have confirmed that the player is set to be reminded of the rules after showing blatant disregard for the dress code before and after his win against Brandon Nakashima today.
The controversial Australian led the bill in front of a packed Royal Box with many spectators wondering what antics they were in for from a player who has certainly made headlines this year whenever he has played.
Kyrgios certainly did not disappoint. Wimbledon’s strict all-white clothing policy is renowned all over the world and even the very best players like Roger Federer have been warned in the past about even the most minor transgression.
Regulations observed by all other players who take part at the Championships say, “Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround.”
So it seemed nothing but a direct challenge to the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s authority when Kyrgios walked down the famous stairs from the locker room and out onto the hallowed turf wearing a bright red pair of trainers.
He marched to his chair and immediately changed thm for a pair of all-white tennis shoes in which to engage in the traditional warm-up. Then to compound the challenge to authority, his post-match on-court interview was conducted from under a bright red cap.
Having been fined for unsportsmanlike conduct in two of the first three rounds, the 27-year-old just seemed to be courting more controversy. He was fined $10,000 after his first round match against Paul Jubb when he spat in the direction of fans who he claimed had been disrespecting him and a spiteful game against Stefanos Tsitsipas cost him another $4,000 for an audible obscenity.
The rules committee will sit on Wednesday morning after the completion of the fourth round to decide if there is to be any further sanction on this occasion. The Wimbledon dress code has been tightened up in recent years after sliding during the 1980s.
Bra straps and headbands have been outlawed in the past and Tatiana Golovin famously came undone because her scarlett knickers showed when she was serving in 2007. Even defending champion Federer was told after his first-round match in 2013 that he was to refrain from wearing the orange-soled shoes supplied to him by sponsors Nike.
And the following year Martina Navratilova, one of Wimbledon’s most celebrated players, was reprimanded for sporting a blue pinstripe on her skirt.