British tennis star Emma Raducanu has risked alienating her fans after she tweeted support for Nick Kyrgios as he defeated Cristian Garin to advance to the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday night. The Australian, whose antics on the court have captivated fans during the Championships, faces allegations of assault against his ex-girlfriend late last year.
As Kyrgios beat Garin in straight sets, the US Open champion tweeted ‘NK’ with a magician’s wand emoji. Kyrgios’ spectacular win ensured he will play in a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time, setting up a huge last four showdown with 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal on Friday.
Kyrgios retweeted Raducanu, who crashed out of Wimbledon in the second round after she was dominated by Caroline Garcia. He also wrote a message in response, adding: “Appreciate the support!”
Kyrgios will attend the ACT Magistrates Court on August 2 to address allegations he assaulted ex-girlfriend and model Chiara Passari, which she brought to police in December 2021. Kyrgios’ behaviour at Wimbledon has also seen him receive multiple fines during the tournament for incidents including spitting in the direction of a spectator.
Many of Raducanu’s 656,000 Twitter followers did not agree with her public display of support for the Australian following the serious allegations. One suggested her tweet showed ‘poor judgement’, while another simply said, ‘Are you kidding me, Emma?’
Amid the wave of disappointment surrounding her reaction, Raducanu may have tweeted her support for Kyrgios as he has publicly stuck up for her before. In the press conference after his quarter final win, the 27-year-old said: “I haven’t had much communication with Emma before.
“I feel like I’ve kind of stuck up for her a bit in the media with, you know, kind of some of the stuff that older legends kind of love to just throw shade and have their opinions on young players – young, important players. She’s obviously capable of winning a Grand Slam at 19, I mean, I don’t even know how old she is exactly, 19 I think, but I’m glad that I have those supporters and I’m happy.
“If she loves watching my tennis, that’s great and I enjoy watching her tennis as well.”
Kyrgios is gearing up for the biggest match of his career when he takes on Nadal, with the winner set to face either World No.1 Novak Djokovic or British No.1 Cameron Norrie in the Wimbledon final on Sunday night. After the tournament, the Australian will prepare to combat the allegations brought against him by Passari.
Kyrgios’s barrister Jason Moffett told The Canberra Times his client was aware of the allegation, which were ‘in the context of a domestic relationship’. He added: “The nature of the allegation is serious, and Mr Kyrgios takes the allegation very seriously.”