Mats Wilander believes "people inside tennis" might be upset with Nick Kyrgios’ Wimbledon run as he risked another fine after his win over Brandon Nakashima.
Unlike Kyrgios’ previous matches, the last-16 clash with Nakashima featured few moments of controversy as the Australian produced a battling display to advance in five sets.
But Kyrgios faced questions afterwards about his clothing as he walked onto Centre Court with red trainers, and then changed into them afterwards, along with a red cap.
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Wimbledon rules state players must wear clothing that is almost entirely white once they enter the court.
Asked afterwards why he chose the red cap and trainers, Kyrgios said: “Because I do what I want.
He was then asked if he feels he is above the rules, and responded with: “No. I’m not above the rules…I just like wearing my Jordans."
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Kyrgios also said he finds criticism of his behaviour funny” and thinks his Wimbledon run has made “many people upset”.
“I think those people are mostly people inside tennis who are afraid more people might start crossing the line; there are rules," said seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander.
“Fans are more excited to have him in the tournament than probably any other player in the history of our sport apart from Roger Federer and Andy Murray at Wimbledon. People love Kyrgios here.”
Wilander added: “He’s more dedicated. You can see it physically, he’s in better shape. Mentally you can see it. He’s still Nick Kyrgios but he is focused on most of the points and is focused on winning. He was out there to win.
“Is this Nick Kyrgios that's finally kind of reached his potential in terms of results, and potentially threatens the best players in the world in possibly going all the way or getting to a semi-final Slam, and maybe even having a chance to get to finals?
“I would have to say that that is the one thing that I'm really looking forward to this week because you don't know if this is what will happen. We might have a different Nick Kyrgios in the future than the one that we have seen for the last six, seven years.”
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Kyrgios, who appeared to be bothered by a shoulder problem during the win over Nakashima, next faces Chile’s Cristian Garin.
The winner of the quarter-final will face either Taylor Fritz or Rafael Nadal in the last four.
Reflecting on Kyrgios' latest display, former world No. 2 Alex Corretja said: “He knows the way he is behaving there are some people who don’t like it, but some people love it.
“I think in a way it’s good because he is bringing a totally different style. But as we always say there needs to be a line and a respectful line with his opponent, the umpire and the spectators that he shouldn’t cross over. I don’t care if he likes to have fun with his shots but there is a line that is difficult.
“I don’t know about the red cap…it’s about the tournament to tell him something and give him a fine or whatever they need to do.”
This is the first time Kyrgios has made a Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2015 Australian Open.
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He says he is able to “manage” injury issues like his shoulder better than he was earlier in his career.
“I've played so much tennis in the last month and a half, so I almost knew that it was time for my body to start feeling some niggles. I think that's normal.
“At this time in the event I don't think anyone is feeling 100 per cent. Obviously Rafa [Nadal], you see him dealing with something niggling all the time. It's just something I manage.
“Mentally I feel like I just deal with these things a lot better now. Earlier in my career - I knew today I wasn't feeling 100 per cent. But mentally I stayed quite calm, you know, knowing I wasn't able to serve full out for the whole five sets. Obviously I had to take painkillers.
“As I said, I wasn't returning well for a period of time, then I just stuck to my guns in the fifth set. I felt like the level in the fifth set for me was raised whereas his level kind of went away a little bit.”
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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