Wimbledon doesn't care what looks cool, says Kyrgios on strict dress code
(REUTERS, AFP) - Nick Kyrgios would rather wear all black when competing at Wimbledon instead of adhering to the all-white dress code, with the Australian saying on Sunday (June 26) that the Championships were out of tune with what looks "cool" on court.
The grasscourt Major is famous for its strict dress code and does not even allow players to wear off-white or cream, while the measuring tape comes out to ensure the trim of colour on necklines or sleeves are no wider than a centimetre.
"I always want to wear all black, obviously," Kyrgios said with a smile at a news conference ahead of his first-round match with British wildcard Paul Jubb.
"But I don't think it's something that's going to change, I don't know.
"I think it would be cool to allow, like, a black headband or black sweatband. I think it would look cool. Obviously Wimbledon doesn't really care what looks cool... I don't think it will ever change."
But the prestige associated with Wimbledon was still enough to lure Kyrgios to compete despite the lack of ranking points this year due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
The decision essentially reduced Wimbledon to an exhibition event but the Major's organisers are also dishing out record prize money to the tune of £40.3 million (S$68.7 million).
Kyrgios, who said he did not agree with the ban as the sport's top-ranked Daniil Medvedev would not be playing, added that he did not pick tournaments based on the ranking points on offer.
"As a kid, when I watched Wimbledon, when I wanted to play it, I wasn't thinking about ranking points. I was thinking about playing in the most prestigious tournament in the world. That's all I'm here for," he said.
"There's people that are (saying) 'I'm not going to play Wimbledon because of ranking points. I'm going to go play a challenger that week'.
"When I'm sitting with my kids in the future, I'm not going to be proud to say I played a challenger instead of Wimbledon. I will choose to play Wimbledon every day of the week."
Kyrgios, who stunned Rafael Nadal at the All England Club in 2014 when ranked 114th in the world, will hope to keep getting the better of top-ranked players this week.
The world No. 40 said: "I've played top-10 players in the world this year and made them look pretty ordinary," he said. "I know where my game's at. I know if I'm feeling confident, I'm playing well, I'm able to just light it up kind of whenever I want."
The facts back him up. Having sat out the entire claycourt season, Kyrgios has excelled on grass this summer, reaching the semi-finals back-to-back in Stuttgart and Halle. World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas fell to the Australian in Halle. That was the Greek's third loss in four meetings with Kyrgios.
Fellow members of the top such as Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud have also fallen victim to a sometimes inspired Kyrgios in 2022.
Kyrgios knows he has the tools to make the second week at Wimbledon again.
"I know if I'm serving well and I'm playing well, I can beat anyone. I have pretty much beaten everyone in the draw before," he said. "It's hard. It's like not many people have gotten over the hump of winning a slam. I'm one of the people that has to deal with that every week.
"Like, Oh, he's probably one of the biggest wastes of talent. He should be winning a Slam."
One thing's for sure though, he will still play to the crowd. In recent seasons, he has sought the advice of fans on serve placement, perfected the underarm serve and once even demanded a beer while playing at the French Open. The darker, flip side has seen thousands of dollars in fines and a suspended 16-week ban in 2019.
"The crowd knows I'm going to try and bring a lot of energy, bring a lot of flair and entertainment," he said.