Nick Kyrgios has stuck up for Emma Raducanu amid critical….
Emma Raducanu took to social media to seemingly praise Nick Kyrgios following his quarter-final win at Wimbledon, and now the Australian star has returned the favour.
Nick Kyrgios has stuck up for Emma Raducanu after the British teenager came in for criticism for praising his quarter-final display at Wimbledon.
On Wednesday Kyrgios, 27, advanced into the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career when he overcame Cristian Garin in straight-sets. It means a final four clash with Rafael Nadal tomorrow, with the Spaniard battling an abdominal injury following his five-set battle with Taylor Fritz.
The Aussie was at his sublime best against Garin, with the match also void of the controversies which have thus far tainted his run at SW19. And Raducanu, 19, took to Twitter to laud the display, simply writing ‘NK’ alongside a magician’s wand emoji.
But her post seemed to anger a number of her followers, given on Tuesday it was confirmed that Kyrgios had been charged with common assault by Australian authorities. The allegations relate to an incident with his ex-partner, Chiara Passari.
That news followed divisive behaviour from Kyrgios during the opening week at SW19, who was fined for spitting towards a spectator during his first round match with Paul Jubb. He then received another financial penalty for an ‘audible obscenity’ during his clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.
And in response he’s spoken up for Raducanu, telling reporters: “I feel like I’ve kind of stuck up for her a bit in the media with 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 going to be one of the most important players on the WTA Tour for a very long time. She’s obviously capable of winning a Grand Slam at 18. She’s very capable of doing that again.”
And the Canberra man clearly appreciated the apparent praise, adding: “I’m glad that I have those supporters. If she loves watching my tennis, that’s great.
“I enjoy watching her tennis, as well. But I think that was just a bit of a payback for how much I’ve kind of stuck up for her in the media.”
Indeed, Raducanu has faced criticism in some quarters for failing to settle on a long-term coach after her fairytale win in Flushing Meadows, following which she split from then-mentor Andrew Richardson. And in March, former-pro Daniela Hantuchova said she was losing “respect” in the tennis locker rooms.
Kyrgios responded by tweeting: “What’s with old retired players giving their opinion on our stars now? I read an article about a past female player talking about Radacanu. No offence, but she is a far, far bigger name already.”
If Kyrgios does prevail on Friday, he’ll face the winner of Novak Djokovic v Cameron Norrie in the final. That clash will be up first on Centre Court, followed by Kyrgios v Nadal.