Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios may have defied expectations to make it to the 2022 Wimbledon finals but it’s his “final act of defiance” during the tournament’s trophy ceremony that really got the tennis world talking.
Kyrgios missed out on winning his first grand slam title after losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets during the Wimbledon men’s final at Centre Court on Sunday, July 10.
In the highly anticipated final showdown, Djokovic recorded a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) victory over Kyrgios at the All England Club. Sunday’s win continues Djokovic’s winning streak at the club to 28 matches, with his recent victory marking the first time he was won four consecutive titles at the tournament.
Kyrgios came out strong in the opening set, striking 14 winners and only four unforced errors.
However, an unshakeable Djokovic turned the tide in the second set, racing to a 4-1 advantage in the fourth game. Djokovic was able to further his lead and take control of the match from a distracted and frustrated Kyrgios, holding a two-set-to-love lead in the third set.
A composed Kyrgios secured a fourth-set tie but in the end, could do little to prevent Djokovic from securing his seventh career Wimbledon title.
Although the Wimbledon crowd commended Kyrgios for his efforts during the match, the wider tennis world condemned the world No. 45 for his decision to wear a red cap during the trophy ceremony which is a breach of Wimbledon’s all-white dress code.
Following the hard-fought match, Kyrgios took a seat courtside and switched his white cap for a red one before receiving the runner-up trophy from the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Daily Mail’s tennis correspondent Mike Dickson called Kyrgios’ choice of attire “a final act of defiance”.
Meanwhile Kyrgios has put his red cap on, a final act of defiance.
— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) July 10, 2022
Journalist and tennis commentator José Morgado acknowledged the red cap, hinting at a “big fine coming” for Kyrgios.
Kyrgios receiving the runner up trophy with a red cap.
Big fine coming.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 10, 2022
Digital Editor for Sunday World Magazine tweeted that Kyrgios “simply doesn’t care”.
— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) July 10, 2022
Commentators weren’t the only ones to weigh in on Kyrgios’ choice to defy tradition with many fans showing zero love for the Australian tennis star.
Spoilt little brat still defying the rules in his red hat. How hard is it to respect traditions?
— Anne Abrahams (@annie5859) July 10, 2022
Your a desgrace to tge sport nothing but trouble all the way through the tournament then warning a red hat for the presentation which is against dress code its lack of respect so glad you lost you don’t deserve to win your a 1 tournament wonder you won’t get to another final
— Afc gooner clockend (@Martin37744239) July 11, 2022
@Wimbledon why do you let @NickKyrgios get away with this behavior. He has no respect for tennis or tradition. Wearing red hat for trophies? He is an excellent athlete but … hold him responsible to rules.
— Janice Tucker (@BeechLilly) July 10, 2022
I would love to ask Nick Kyrgios why he thinks spectators should follow rules re: noise between points etc, but the rule about not wearing his red hat on court seems to not matter to him. Is he above rules & everyone else isn’t or is it something else? #NickKyrgios #Wimbledon
— Luke (@luke_vinch) July 10, 2022
For all those making a ‘racquet’ over Kyrgios’ red hat, there were just as many who supported his decision, with one commentator pointing out that tennis history is filled with players breaching Wimbledon’s all-white dress code.
To all those people so outraged by @NickKyrgios wearing a red hat – and the respect for traditions of all white Wimbledon …. let’s reflect on some of the greats receiving their trophies. I particularly love the Davis Cup top. pic.twitter.com/0ItNUlAmAG
— John Gross (@John_Gross) July 11, 2022
F Wimbledon tradition! I am all in on the @NickKyrgios red hat
— AllenZZZ (@loveaiforever) July 10, 2022
Thanks for caring about humanity Nick. I love your red hat at Wimbledon. celebration. Congrats. you are a true winner!!!❤️
— Leigh White (@LeighPwhite1) July 10, 2022
Nick Kyrgios wore a red hat at Wimbledon and people are losing their fucking minds. There’s so much worse shit going on in the world that they could channel that energy towards. Goodness
— Hayden Wilson (@HaydenWilsonOVO) July 11, 2022
Other commentators simply chose to take a lighter approach to the controversy and serve up their own brand of humour in response.
— mark (@voodoorock) July 5, 2022
— Calvin Weller (@lubeeeey) July 7, 2022